Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA
As a certified California attorney referral service, we help many Californians get legal help after a car accident. One of the most common questions we hear after an accident is, “How much can someone sue for a car accident in California?”.
Below we list out three settlement ranges that are common for people to sue for after a car accident in California:
|Severity of Accident
|Possible Amount to Sue for
|Approximately: $5,000 – $25,000
|Approximately: $25,000 – $100,000
|Approximately: $100,000 – $1,000,000+
For minor accidents with little to no injuries, the settlement could be a few thousand dollars or more to cover property damage and any medical bills for minor injuries.
For accidents with moderate injuries and more significant property damage, settlements might result in settlements in the tens of thousands range. These cases typically involve medical treatment, some missed work, and possibly longer recovery periods.
In cases of severe injuries, long-term medical treatments, permanent disabilities, or fatalities, settlements can be substantial, potentially reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Factors like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the extent of negligence play a significant role in determining high settlement amounts.
Remember, this is a simplified overview, and every case is unique. The specific circumstances of the accident, the severity of injuries, fault determination, and other factors will impact the actual settlement.
Consulting an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to understanding what might be an appropriate settlement for your particular case.
Use our car accident evaluator below to get an estimate of what your car accident could be worth in roughly 90 seconds.
The information above encompasses settlement information for all types of California car accidents. Below we’ll dive into more detail for different types of car accidents.
Settlements for rear-end accidents, where liability is often clear, may range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands for moderate injuries. Severe injuries could lead to higher settlements in the six or seven figure range.
Head-on collisions can result in substantial settlements due to the severity of injuries people suffer. Settlements might range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands or more, depending on the circumstances.
Settlements for T-bone accidents can vary. Minor injuries might result in settlements in the lower thousands, while more severe injuries could lead to tens of thousands or more.
If a driver in the accident was under the influence (DUI), the settlement range can be significantly higher. Oftentimes in the six figure range, or higher. This could depend on the severity of injuries, property damage, and the level of negligence.
Remember, these are very broad ranges, and many factors specific to each case can influence the actual settlement amount.
After a car accident in California, there are several types of damages you can potentially sue for. Damages are the compensation you may seek to cover various losses due to the accident. Here are the main types of damages:
These are tangible financial losses that you can prove with receipts, bills, and other documentation. They include:
These are more subjective losses that don’t have a specific dollar amount attached. They include:
To sue for these damages, you typically need to prove that the other party was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries and losses.
It’s important to gather evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene to build a strong case.
Remember, California follows a “comparative negligence” rule, which means your compensation could be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident.
Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional experienced in personal injury cases to navigate the legal complexities and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
California follows a “comparative negligence” rule, which means that compensation can be adjusted based on the degree to which each party is at fault for the accident. If you were partially responsible for the accident, your compensation might be reduced proportionally.
Additionally, California does not have a statutory cap on most types of damages in personal injury cases, except for medical malpractice cases. However, there is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases involving non-economic injuries like pain and suffering.
Punitive damages, though rare, can be pursued if the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly reckless, malicious, or intentional. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Yes, you can still consider filing a lawsuit after a car accident in California even if there were no injuries. While injuries often play a significant role in personal injury claims, there are situations where you might have valid reasons to pursue legal action even without physical harm. Here are a few scenarios:
Car accidents can bring about not only physical injuries but also unexpected financial burdens. When the other party involved has low insurance coverage or is uninsured altogether, the situation can become even more challenging. In this article, we’ll explore the options available to individuals who find themselves in such circumstances after a car accident in California.
In California, drivers are legally required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover potential damages in case of an accident.
However, not all drivers comply with this requirement. If you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, your options for seeking compensation may vary.
To safeguard against situations involving uninsured or underinsured motorists, many insurance policies in California offer uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This coverage is designed to step in when the at-fault party lacks sufficient insurance. UM/UIM coverage can help you recover costs for medical bills, property damage, and even pain and suffering, depending on the specifics of your policy.
In cases where the other party lacks insurance or has inadequate coverage, you might consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible driver personally. However, it’s important to note that even if you win a judgment in your favor, collecting the awarded amount could prove challenging if the at-fault driver doesn’t have the means to pay.
In addition to UM/UIM coverage, some insurance policies offer “uninsured motorist property damage” (UMPD) coverage, which can help with vehicle repairs if the other party is uninsured. However, UMPD coverage typically comes with a deductible.
In California, if you’ve been injured in a car accident and you didn’t have insurance at the time, you still have the legal right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
California follows a “fault” system for car accidents, meaning that the person responsible for the accident is liable for the resulting damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
However, it’s important to note that California has a rule known as “comparative negligence.” This means that if you were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation could be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Additionally, not having insurance might impact your ability to recover certain damages.
If you were in a recent car accident and need help securing your settlement, don’t delay in seeking help. We help many Californians just like you secure a car accident settlement to get their life back on track.
Call now and connect with some of the best car accident attorneys in the state.