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The Costs of a San Diego Car Accident

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Posted on June 6, 2023

If you’ve recently experienced a car accident in San Diego or the surrounding area, you may be worried about the costs. In the initial traumatic aftermath of an accident, you may have thought of little else other than the safety and well-being of your family, but once you are on the road to physical recovery and the bills begin rolling in, your mind may turn toward the financial impacts of a car accident. How much do car accidents cost victims when it comes to property damage, medical care, and lost wages?

Understanding Damages in a San Diego Car Accident Claim

If you were not at fault in the accident and it wouldn’t have occurred if another driver had taken reasonable care to prevent it—such as following traffic laws and avoiding distractions—then the at-fault party is liable for your damages. 

Car accidents with injuries quickly become expensive. Your damages could include:

  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Medical expenses and future medical expenses if you’ll need further treatment, physical therapy, surgery, and/or home health care while you recover
  • Lost income and lost future income
  • Diminished future earning capacity if the accident caused a disability

Besides these common economic damages, you could claim an amount of compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering as well as any other applicable damages like disfigurement, loss of limb, or PTSD.

When someone else was at fault for your injuries in a San Diego car accident, they are responsible for paying you compensation for your damages. This is typically paid through their car insurance liability policy.

Average Costs in Damages for Car Accidents in California

The state of California loses around $44 billion each year in lost work and medical costs from car accident injuries. The economic damages per accident vary greatly depending on the severity of the accident. Estimates of average car accident costs in 2021 are as follows:

  • $5,700 in property damage per average accident
  • $40,000 for accidents with injuries
  • $150,000 for accidents causing disability
  • $1,778,000 for accidents with a fatality

On top of the economic damages a victim may recover in a successful car accident claim in California, they may also receive an amount of compensation for their pain and suffering and other intangible damages which can significantly increase the amount they receive in compensation. Though monetary compensation for non-economic damages can’t erase pain, suffering, and trauma, it’s the civil court’s way of redressing a wrong and helping accident victims achieve justice for the harm caused to them by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing.

What to Expect in a Car Accident Case in San Diego

Insurance companies are never in a hurry to pay out on an accident victim’s claim for damages. It’s important to hire an experienced accident attorney in San Diego to represent your best interests and counteract the typical tactics insurance companies use to deny, stall, or lowball a claim. In most cases, a skilled attorney can investigate your accident, collect evidence to prove liability on the part of the person at fault in the accident, and calculate your damages in a way to maximize your recovery. With a San Diego personal injury lawyer representing your interests and defending your rights, the insurance company is much more likely to settle your claim out of court to save the expenses of a trial.