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Average Settlement For a Broken Bone in a Car Accident (California)

AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR A BROKEN BONE IN A CAR ACCIDENT

In California, the average settlement for a broken bone resulting from a car accident can range from $5,000 to $250,000. This range reflects the compensation typically awarded for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

Despite this, we’ve won the following settlements, which far exceed this average:

  • $1,500,000: Broken femur in Los Angeles
  • $1,000,000: Broken foot, again in LA

We see cases where compensation varies based on the type of fracture, the treatment required, and the impact on the victim’s life.

For instance, a simple fracture may result in a lower settlement compared to a complex fracture requiring surgery and extended recovery. Factors such as the at-fault party’s insurance coverage and the victim’s ability to return to work also play significant roles.

Find out how a Torrance car accident lawyer from our firm can significantly impact the settlement amount for your case

Broken bone compensation amounts in more detail

Each type of fracture can lead to varying settlement amounts depending on the severity, required medical treatment, and long-term effects.

Broken clavicle

The average settlement amount for a broken clavicle in a car accident typically ranges from $35,000 to $85,000. This range can fluctuate depending on several factors, including the complexity of the fracture, whether surgery is needed, and the extent of rehabilitation required.

Broken leg

The average settlement amount for a broken leg in a car accident ranges from $55,000 to $150,000. This range varies based on the type of fracture, the necessary medical treatments, and the long-term impact on the victim’s life.

For instance, further amounts based on the broken area of the leg(s) are:

  • Fibula (calf) Fractures: $55,000 – $70,000
  • Tibia (shin) Fractures: $65,000 – $85,000
  • Femur (thigh) Fractures: $130,000 – $150,000

Broken leg with surgery

The average settlement amount for a broken leg requiring surgery in a car accident usually ranges from $100,000 to $250,000. A broken leg requiring surgery is a serious injury often resulting from high-impact car accidents.

As you would expect, the higher settlement amounts involved with a surgery stem from covering the medical bills and rehabilitation expenses. In addition, the injured party is more likely going to need more time away from work. This is compared to small breaks and fractures, which don’t tend to need surgery or a prolonged stay in hospital/rehabilitation.

Broken arm

Compensation for a broken arm in a car accident varies widely based on the nature of the fracture. Settlements usually fall between $20,000 and $50,000.

Key considerations include the type of break (simple or compound), the necessity for surgery, and any restrictions on the individual’s ability to perform daily tasks. More complex fractures, especially those affecting job performance or requiring multiple surgeries, drive higher settlement values.

Ribs

Broken ribs are commonly less severe than other bone injuries but can still lead to significant pain and limitations. Settlements for broken ribs tend to range from $5,000 to $15,000.

These amounts generally cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any impact on the victim’s daily life. Cases where multiple ribs are broken, or complications arise, may result in higher payouts, particularly if the injuries affect lung function or cause other internal damage.

What is the average settlement for a broken foot?

The average settlement for a broken foot in a car accident usually ranges from $15,000 to $35,000.

This amount considers factors such as the type of fracture, required medical treatment, and recovery time. Complex fractures involving surgery or long-term impact on mobility can bring settlements to the higher end of this range. Foot injuries can significantly affect an individual’s ability to walk and work, influencing the overall compensation.

Average payout for a broken hip

Broken hips, especially in older individuals, can be severe and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Average settlement amounts typically vary from $50,000 to $100,000.

These settlements account for surgeries, prolonged physical therapy, potential for permanent disability, and the impact on one’s quality of life. High medical expenses and long recovery times often make these cases more valuable compared to other bone injuries.

Sacrum fracture settlement

The average settlement amount for sacrum fractures ranges from $20,000 to $70,000. The wide range reflects factors such as the severity of the fracture, associated medical costs, needs for long-term care, and any permanent limitations on mobility or function.

Sacrum fractures, located at the base of the spine, can be particularly painful and debilitating. These injuries often result from high-impact collisions and entail lengthy recovery periods.

Additional reading: how much to expect from a car accident settlement in California

How to maximize a settlement amount


How to maximize a settlement amount

To maximize a car accident settlement amount, it’s important to take several strategic steps:

  1. First, document everything related to the accident. This includes taking photographs, obtaining police reports, and keeping medical records. Detailed documentation helps build a strong case for a higher settlement amount.
  2. Second, seek immediate medical attention. Prompt medical care ensures your injuries are properly documented, which is essential for proving their severity and securing appropriate compensation.
  3. Next, hire an experienced attorney. An attorney specialized in car accident cases can negotiate effectively with insurance companies, helping you maximize your settlement amount. They understand the intricacies of the legal system and can gather relevant evidence.
  4. Avoid accepting the first offer from the insurance company. Initial offers are often lower than what you may deserve. Negotiate and demonstrate the actual costs and damages incurred.
  5. Also consider the long-term impacts of the injuries. Future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any potential loss of earnings need to be taken into account when negotiating the settlement amount.
  6. Lastly, stay consistent in your statements. Any inconsistencies in your accounts of the accident or injuries could weaken our case and reduce the settlement amount.

For further expert guidance, a San Bernardino car accident lawyer from our firm is at-hand

Factors influencing settlement values

Several factors can influence the settlement values for a broken bone in a car accident in California. These include:

  • The severity and type of the bone injury
  • Associated medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Non-economic damages

Let’s look at these in more detail to see how they might impact your personal injury case

Severity and type of the bone injury

A simple fracture may result in a lower settlement compared to a complex fracture that requires surgery and long-term rehabilitation.

Multiple fractures or injuries involving weight-bearing bones like the legs can lead to higher compensation due to increased recovery time and medical interventions.

In cases of compound fractures, where the bone pierces the skin, the settlement can be significant. This is due to the higher risk of complications and the need for more intensive medical care.

Similarly, injuries that cause permanent impairment or disability will likely result in larger settlements to cover ongoing care and lifestyle adjustments.

Medical costs associated with the injury

Medical costs encompass emergency room visits, surgeries, hospital stays, medication, physical therapy, and follow-up appointments. These costs can quickly add up, influencing the settlement amount.

We must consider both immediate and long-term medical expenses, especially if the injury requires multiple surgeries or continuous rehabilitation.

California’s high cost of healthcare means that even minor bone injuries can lead to substantial medical bills.

Insurance companies and legal representatives will examine these costs closely when determining a fair settlement. Detailed medical records and invoices will support the negotiation process, ensuring that all expenses are covered.

Lost income and earning capacity

If the injury has caused the victim to miss work or reduced their ability to perform their job, they should be compensated for these losses. This includes wages lost during recovery and any projected future earnings loss.

In cases of severe injuries, the individual might not return to their previous employment or work capacity. For example, a construction worker with a shattered leg bone might face permanently reduced mobility, affecting their ability to work.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life are more subjective and harder to quantify but are critical for comprehensive compensation. Jurors and insurance adjusters consider the injury’s impact on quality of life.

Pain and suffering can vary significantly depending on the individual’s experience. For someone with chronic pain resulting from a severe fracture, the non-economic damages can be substantial.

Legal representation often leverages personal testimonies and expert evaluations to effectively argue for higher settlements in these areas.

The settlement process for broken bone claims


California car accident laws affecting settlements

In California, several laws directly impact the settlement amounts in car accident cases. These include comparative negligence rules, auto insurance coverage limits, and the statute of limitations for filing claims.

  • Comparative Negligence Rules: California follows a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are 30% at fault and your damages total $10,000, you would receive $7,000.
  • Auto Insurance Policies and Coverage Limits: California law requires drivers to have liability insurance with minimum limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $5,000 for property damage. Additionally, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage can provide additional compensation if the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance.
  • Statute of Limitations: In California, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is generally two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within this period can result in losing the right to seek compensation. If the injury is discovered later, the statute of limitations may begin from the discovery date.

The settlement process for broken bone claims

When dealing with broken bone claims from car accidents in California, it is essential to understand the key stages involved:

1. Filing an insurance claim

The first step in the settlement process for broken bone claims involves notifying the at-fault party’s insurance company about the accident and injury. You must provide all relevant details, including the accident report, medical records, and any witness statements.

Timely filing is crucial, typically within a few days after the accident, to avoid any delays in the settlement process.

Accurate documentation ensures that our claim is taken seriously. All bills for medical treatments, such as X-rays, casting, or surgery, should be meticulously recorded and submitted.

Also, keeping a detailed log of your recovery process helps in justifying the claim amount.

Timeline: Generally, insurers have up to 30 days to acknowledge the claim and may take additional time to investigate.

2. Negotiation with insurance companies

Negotiation begins once the insurance company reviews your submitted documents.

They may make an initial lowball offer, which you should typically counter. Your goal is to reach a fair settlement that compensates for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

You may either negotiate directly or employ a personal injury lawyer to ensure you achieve a more favorable settlement. Lawyers can effectively argue the case’s merits, emphasizing the severity of the injury and its implications on your daily life.

Communication: It is vital to keep all communications professional and document every interaction with the insurance adjuster. Detailed written records of offers and counteroffers help track the negotiation’s progress and maintain clarity.

3. Litigation and trial

If negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory settlement, litigation may be necessary. This involves filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party, as well as preparing and presenting your case in court.

The discovery process allows both parties to gather evidence and depositions, which can strengthen your position.

Court Proceedings: Trials can be lengthy and complex, requiring expert witness testimony and comprehensive evidence presentation. You must be prepared for the possibility of depositions, pre-trial motions, and the trial itself.

Potential outcomes include a jury verdict or a judge’s ruling. If the court rules in your favor, the awarded amount could be higher than the insurance company’s offers, yet litigation carries risks and costs.

How we can help

We understand the complexities involved in personal injury cases, especially when it concerns broken bones from car accidents in California. Here are just some of the ways our experienced personal injury attorneys can remove the burden from you:

  • Personalized Legal Representation: Our team offers tailored legal assistance to guide you through every step of the process. We handle negotiations with insurance companies, documentation, and court proceedings to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.
  • Expertise in Personal Injury: We specialize in various types of injury cases, including brain, spine, and catastrophic injuries. Our deep knowledge and experience make us equipped to tackle even the most challenging cases. We fight to maximize your compensation and ensure justice is served.
  • Comprehensive Employment Law Services: In addition to personal injury, we represent individuals in employment-related matters. Whether it’s wrongful termination, discrimination, or retaliation, our dedicated lawyers are here to support you. We aim to protect your rights and secure favorable outcomes in these complex situations.
  • Our Process: We begin with a detailed consultation to understand your situation thoroughly. From there, our team formulates a strategy tailored to your specific needs. Communication is key, and we keep you informed throughout the entire legal process.

Why choose us?

  • Expertise in personal injury and employment law
  • Proven track record of successful case results
  • Compassionate and dedicated legal team
  • Personalized and strategic legal representation

Ready to take the next step? We’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let us work towards getting you the justice and compensation you deserve.

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