Motor vehicle accidents are some most highly litigated incidents in the country — and there’s a good reason for this. Vehicles are expensive, and someone has to pay to repair or replace what’s been damaged. Having a minimum of liability insurance is a requirement by law, but there is no telling whether the other party is actually insured like they’re supposed to be.
Sadly, there are times when either your insurance, the other party’s insurance, or both leave you without all of your expenses covered. If you were injured in the accident and incurred medical expenses, the money for that has to come from somewhere. So where do you turn to? In these situations, the only option you really have is to bring the matter to court. But that’s a lot to go through, and who knows what kind of compensation you’ll actually walk away with?
Hopefully, we can clear some things up for you and give you a better idea of what goes into settlement calculations.
Factors Which Influence Car Accident Settlement Amounts
No two car accident cases are alike — thus, the settlements issued after car accident settlements are not identical either. From the amount of time that went by before medical treatment was sought to the monetary value of wages that were lost, there are several factors that go into the predicted settlement amount. Below is an overview of the factors that impact car accident settlement amounts:
You got injured in the accident and sought medical attention. Depending on the severity of the accident, the cost of this can vary wildly. When the bills start coming in the mail, you’re left trying to figure out how to pay. You shouldn’t have to worry about this.
Even if you have already paid some of your medical expenses from the accident, you can still be compensated for them. Make sure you keep all of your medical records and documentation of all the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. Did you have to be admitted to the hospital? Did you require ambulance transportation? Was surgery required? Be prepared to answer all of these questions when you meet with your lawyer. And don’t be surprised when he or she asks for all of your documentation.
What kind of documentation do you need? You will need diagnosis paperwork indicating that you were injured as a result of the accident, any treatments required for your injury or injuries, all receipts and bills related to initial diagnosis and treatment and all paperwork regarding ongoing treatments.
How Long After The Accident Was Medical Attention Sought?
Even if your condition does not require ambulance transport to the emergency department, you need to be evaluated as soon as possible. It needs to be clearly apparent that the injury for which you were evaluated was a direct result of the accident. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more opportunity you give the defense to claim that your complaints are from an unrelated incident. Save yourself the headache and heartache, and just be evaluated right away.
Loss Of Income/Wages
If you missed any work as a result of your injuries, keep a record. You should be entitled to compensation for loss of income/wages. You will need to provide pay stubs as evidence of the amount of money you typically make and to show a change in income. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get 100% of that money, but your lawyer will try to get you as much as they can. Any documentation you can provide will make his or her job that much easier.
Pain & Suffering Damages
You can seek compensation for the emotional damage that you have experienced as a result of your accident. That being said, you can’t claim pain & suffering unless it’s related to a physical injury you sustained in the accident. This is a more obscure part of accident litigation and really requires an experienced attorney to calculate. You also have to have evidence such as testimonies from professionals that indicate that you are suffering as a result of your injuries. The doctor should be able to provide some outlook for how long your suffering may continue as well, and that will be used to determine the duration of damages.
The typical calculation for pain & suffering is a certain amount of money per day multiplied by the amount of time the doctors say you will be negatively affected. That base amount can differ based on the severity of the accident/your injury.
Injuries Directly Stemming From The Accident
Only those injuries which can be attributed directly to the accident will be eligible for compensation. Exacerbation of a previous injury will be less likely to be worth anything.
Seeking Legal Counsel & Representation
When looking for a lawyer to represent you, it is very important to retain someone with experience. Only an attorney with experience in personal injury litigation will be able to maximize your settlement. He or she will know all the ins and outs of the system, and determine the best strategies for your specific case.
Speak To An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
You’ve most likely already started the road to physical and emotional recovery after your accident. Contact us today so we can help you get on the road to financial recovery, and so you can get some semblance of normality back in your life.