Just like everything else in life, there is no one size fits all method used to determine the worth of a car accident claim. The value of each claim will depend on different factors. One car accident victim may suffer from whiplash and broken bones, while another car accident victim walks away with a sprained back. Both victims are entitled to a certain amount of compensation.
If you suffered a severe injury in a car accident, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer to assess the actual worth of your claim. Doing so promptly can also ensure you do not miss the deadline to file a car accident claim.
In a typical car accident claim, victims will have the opportunity to list all the damages they expect compensation for.
Some of the common damages include:
When determining the worth of a car accident claim, there are several factors that legal professionals will consider. One of the most important factors is the severity of your injuries. In general, the more severe your injuries are, the more compensation that you can recover. If your injuries are temporary or there is an excellent chance for recovery, you can still recover compensation. If you sustained catastrophic injuries with little chance of recovery, you have a greater chance of retrieving compensation that can last you throughout your life.
Another factor that legal professionals will consider is the lifelong impact that your injuries will have on you and your loved ones. How will your injuries affect your way of life? Can you continue to work in your chosen profession? How will your injuries affect the relationship between you and your children? These are some of the questions that the court will consider when determining your injury’s lifetime impact.
Another factor affecting your compensation is the other driver’s insurance policy. Each auto insurance policy limits the coverage it can provide for bodily injury. Obtaining the compensation you requested will present challenges if a driver’s policy does not cover your damages. If a driver does not even possess particular insurance coverage, that can make obtaining compensation much more difficult.
You can resolve your car accident claim in two ways. The first form of resolution is a settlement offer. The insurance company offers you a fixed compensation for your injuries in a settlement offer.
In exchange for accepting this set amount, the insurance company asks that you withdraw your right in the future to pursue legal action against them or their client. Regardless of how fast you want to resolve your claim, do not accept the first settlement offer that insurance companies grant you. The first offer is always a lowball offer that will not be enough to cover the full scope of your damages.
There are various ways that insurance companies undervalue the actual worth of a claim. For example, one of the most common ways is to calculate a claim through a computer. Insurance adjusters will regularly use different software to calculate the worth of a car accident claim.
The numbers they use to plug in the system are always different than the numbers that lawyers calculate when determining a claim’s worth. Insurance companies are businesses that want to resist paying out as much as possible, and car accident claims are no exception. Even when drivers suffer from legitimate injuries, insurance companies will try to get out of paying what the claimant seeks.
Depending on the outcome of the settlement offer, the other way you can resolve your car accident claim is through a verdict from your trial. Suppose you do not want to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, and the company refuses to compromise with you for a more significant settlement. In that case, you can take your claim to trial for a jury or judge can decide.
If your claim results in a jury trial, you want to remember how the jurors will react to specific facts of your accident. For example, many jurors are known to sympathize with car accident victims who have endured severe injuries following their accident. On the other hand, this can work against you if the jurors do not understand the true extent of catastrophic injuries. Many jurors do not understand that many catastrophic injuries have a slight chance of recovery and that what sounds like a large amount of compensation is not enough to provide complete financial assistance long-term.
Another critical factor you should consider during your trial is the evidence used to build your case. For example, witness testimony can add more credibility to the facts of your accident. Other evidence that can strengthen your case includes police reports, medical documents, a medical professional that can justify the severity of injuries, and even the other driver’s testimony. The evidence used in your trial can make or break your ability to receive the compensation you deserve.
Recovering compensation for your car accident will be difficult no matter your route. You can file a personal injury claim and expect to have your claim resolved within a few months. You can file an insurance claim and get into a sparring match with the insurance company that does not want to pay your claim out in the first place. With either choice, you will have to create a strategy that protects you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. Hiring a lawyer can grant you additional protection against the insurance companies.
Even if you do not want to hire a lawyer for the duration of your process, you can at least help yourself by asking a lawyer to review the worth of your claim. Unlike insurance companies who use computers and questionable numbers to assess your claim, lawyers can add a human touch to the value of your claims. Lawyers can empathize with your injuries and demand several damages you may not realize you deserve. For example, lawyers can consider how your injuries affect your relationships with your family members and whether you need additional services like a caretaker.
Lawyers can also provide a more accurate estimate of the damages that require compensation. Insurance companies will always use the lowest number possible when considering damages. Medical bills, in particular, are one of the damages often underrepresented in car accident claims. Lawyers experienced in handling car accident claims are familiar with what damages will cost the claimant in the long run and will include those numbers in the lawsuit.
One of the most underestimated damages reported in claims is pain and suffering. Because pain and suffering are damage that can be difficult to measure, the evidence that proves how you have suffered harm from your accident must be thoroughly detailed. Your lawyer can provide the best evidence that shows legal professionals how your accident has caused you physical and mental damage.
Another way that a lawyer can help you is by negotiating higher settlements for you in a settlement offer. Insurance companies will try to trick you and deny liability when negotiating settlements.
A lawyer can establish how the other driver is at fault and use other forms of resolution to come to an agreement that you are happily accepting. You don’t have to be nervous about negotiating with insurance adjusters you do not trust, as a lawyer can take on this task and ensure you get the proper settlement offer you need.
A lawyer can also provide the best representation for you when your claim proceeds to a trial. Not every car accident case leads to a lawsuit in civil court. You may need to file suit if an insurance company does not offer a favorable settlement. Having a lawyer signals you are ready to go to court if needed, which can often lead to fair settlements out of court.
If your case requires litigation, your lawyer will handle everything. Whether a judge or jury will review your claim, the people responsible for your verdict must understand your case. Just like other witnesses can testify and validate the facts of your accident, the opposing counsel can request that you testify and attempt to poke holes into your case.
Your lawyer can best prepare you for every step in your trial. Your lawyer can provide the best evidence for you in the discovery phase, prepare you for a deposition, and help you become more confident with testifying at your trial.
Whether you want your claim to result in a settlement or a verdict, your lawyer should be so skilled that they are ready for both occasions. A lawyer should know the best evidence to convince insurance companies to remain open to negotiation and the best way to build your case should it progress to trial.
The threat of a jury verdict may encourage insurance companies to negotiate with your lawyer and consider more significant compensation. Even before a trial, a lawyer can provide a realistic glimpse into how your claim will end.
You do not want to take the insurance company’s word when considering the worth of your car accident claim. Consulting a lawyer will help you determine the actual value of your claim and the best strategy to receive that compensation.
The damages from a car accident can cost thousands. Why not exhaust all of your legal options to maximize the compensation you deserve from your accident?
Instead of taking the word of an insurance adjuster, contact a lawyer you can trust to obtain the damages you deserve.