Average Car Accident Settlement in California [2024 Updated]

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By | May 1, 2024

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it is natural to wonder about the average car accident settlement in California and how much compensation you could foreseeably obtain from the at-fault driver. The reality is that every car accident case is unique. While every case will follow a similar procedural path, every injured driver will have different opportunities and challenges when it comes to recovering their damages.

Recovering From Your Car Accident in California

Before you will be able to recover any compensation for the damages you suffered in a recent car accident, you must prove the fault of the accident. This is likely to require various forms of evidence, such as cell phone records, vehicle computer data, footage captured by traffic cameras, and photos of the scene of the crash. If any witnesses saw the accident happen, their statements could be invaluable to your case. Once you have proven fault for your recent accident, your first option for recovering your damages will be to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. State law requires every driver to have a personal auto insurance policy that complies with minimum coverage requirements:
  • A policy must include at least $15,000 for bodily injury liability to a single victim.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage must extend to at least $30,000 for injuries to multiple victims in a single accident.
  • Each policy must provide $5,000 or more of liability coverage for property damage.
  • It’s not required, but many drivers choose to buy uninsured motorist coverage. This allows a driver to claim against their own policy if an uninsured driver causes an accident.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that insurance will fully cover your losses, that dealing with an insurance company will be easy, or that the at-fault driver will have insurance at all. California has one of the highest uninsured driver rates in the country, and when insurance does not fully cover your losses or an at-fault driver does not have insurance, you will need to file a personal injury claim to recover your damages.

Claiming Compensation for a Car Accident in California

It is difficult to assess a dollar amount for the average car accident settlement in California. The exact value of a car accident case varies based on multiple factors. However, all car accident victims have the right to seek the same types of compensation. In most of these cases, injured victims have the ability to claim full repayment for all of their economic losses as well as compensation for their pain and suffering. The economic damages you may be able to claim from the at-fault driver are likely to include vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and lost income, if your injuries prevent you from working. An experienced attorney can help you accurately calculate your total economic losses. They will also assist you in determining an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your personal injury suit. Duque & Price take a client-focused approach to legal counsel in all car accident cases. We know that no two cases are exactly alike, and every injured claimant will have different legal concerns when it comes to recovering their losses. Ultimately, working with an experienced attorney and pursuing recovery as soon as possible after an accident greatly increase your chances of maximizing your recovery as fully as California law allows.


Q: How Much Are More Car Accident Settlements in California?

A: Most car accident settlements in California amount to slightly more than the total of the victim’s economic losses. If you are able to prove fault for your recent accident, the at-fault driver is not only liable for the immediate economic losses you suffered but also projected future losses and the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident. An experienced attorney can help you maximize your total case award.

Q: What Happens if I’m Partially Responsible for My Car Accident?

A: If you are found partially responsible for your car accident, California’s pure comparative fault rule will apply to your case. You will have a fault percentage assigned that reflects your level of liability for the accident and will then lose this percentage of your final case award. There is no fault threshold that will bar a plaintiff from claiming compensation in California, and a good attorney can help their client minimize the fault percentage assigned to them.

Q: How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in California?

A: In California, pain and suffering can be calculated in various ways. The most important factors to consider when determining appropriate pain and suffering compensation in any personal injury case are the severity of the victim’s damages and how long it will likely take for them to recover. Your attorney may seek an amount based on the overall severity of your condition or your anticipated recovery time.

Q: What Are the Most Serious Car Accident Injuries?

A: The most serious car accident injuries reported in California include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crushing injuries, and amputations. It’s possible for a car accident to result in catastrophic or fatal harm, especially when an accident occurs at high speeds. Speeding, intoxicated driving, and distracted driving are a few of the most commonly cited causes of catastrophic car accident injuries in California each year.

Q: What Does it Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

A: The cost of hiring a car accident attorney will amount to a percentage of your final case award if you choose Duque & Price to represent you. We charge no upfront fees for legal representation in personal injury cases. Our contingency fee policy ensures we will only collect a percentage of the total compensation we recover on your behalf and only if and when we win your case, so there is no risk of paying more for legal counsel than you win in compensation for your damages. Duque & Price understand that a car accident victim is likely to wonder about the average car accident settlement in California, but the truth is that every case is entirely unique, and every injured victim will face different circumstances that will influence their recovery. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney who can help you make sense of your situation and maximize the compensation you secure for your damages.
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About The Author

Brent A. Duque

From humble beginnings and son of hard-working immigrant parents, Brent Duque was raised in La Puente, California. After graduating from West Covina High School and Mt. San Antonio College, Mr. Duque went on to graduate from Cal State University Fullerton with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mr. Duque did his graduate studies in Education and Public Administration at California Polytechnic University Pomona. After working for other firms, Mr. Duque knew that if he opened his own firm, he could provide more aggressive representation, better communication with clients, and secure larger settlements and verdicts for his clients. In 2006, he started his firm and has had a remarkable and successful career that he attributes to his firm’s aggressive and relentless pursuit of justice for his clients. As owner and managing attorney of the firm, Mr. Duque has fought for and secured millions of dollars for his clients.

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