Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident you may be struggling with compiling medical bills and other financial losses in addition to experiencing physical pain and and stress.
You might be overwhelmed about the entire situation and feel uncertain about what to expect. How will you pay your medical bills? What about losing the ability to work for an unknown amount of time? What will you do?
A car accident claim can help to cover your financial losses, such as medical bills, lost income, physical and emotional trauma, property damage, and more.
What is the average settlement for a car accident claim?
Following a car accident your insurance company or the insurance of the driver of another car or another car may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. In general, if the accident was your fault, and you have car insurance, your policy should cover a portion of the damages to your vehicle.
When the accident was caused by another driver, depending on the state you are in, their insurance company may compensate you for your losses. The sum of which that company offers will likely be much less than what you need or expected.
This is not only because it is the goal of an insurance company to pay out as little as possible, but also that it is not always so easy to put a value on a person’s pain and suffering.
The General Value of Car Accident Claims
In general, when you have a car accident lawyer helping you with the claims process, you can recover more than if you accept a settlement on your own. The average worth of a settlement is around three times the cost of your total medical bills; current and prospective. That being said, there are many factors that will need to be included in the determination of a claims’ worth.
A lawyer and/or judge may consider the extent of injuries, prospective treatment, length of treatment, the total loss of income, and the severity of the accident. A settlement may only be available when treatment has been sought and completed, or is in the process of completion. Any permanent injuries, such as loss of limb or paralysis, will influence the amount of compensation that you will receive. If you’re working with an insurance company on your own, and this is not recommended, you should let them know that you are still receive medical treatment. This might help you to avoiding receiving a settlement for less than what you should get.
How Car Accidents Are Valued
There is no formula to determine the exact worth of a car accident. If you were not injured, but your car was damaged, you will likely be reimbursed based on the limits stated in your policy. Compensation for pain and emotional distress is only awarded when you have suffered an injury. This is one reason it is so important to have a doctor examine you immediately after the accident, even if you feel okay. It is possible for you to have internal or “silent” injuries that do not appear for several days or even weeks after the accident. If you’ve already agreed to a settlement offer or delayed getting medical treatment, you could lose out on compensation.
Without talking to a car accident lawyer it is impossible to put an exact value on a claim. Generally the worse the injuries are, the more you will recover. If the liable driver was found to have acted maliciously or extremely reckless, you might also receive punitive damages which can be more than what you recieve in economic and non economic damages. Bare in mind that you could face insurance caps, or maximums, or state caps, which means you would not be able to recover more than what is specifically allowed. If the liable party’s insurance policy has an insurance limit which is less than your total amount of damages, you may need to file a separate lawsuit to recover the remaining amount or file with your own insurance company. This is an entirely different process that can be explained by a car accident lawyer.
The Next Step
If you’re considering filing a claim or lawsuit after a car accident, call an auto accident lawyer Canoga Park, CA residents rely on to review your case.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into car accident claims.