You deserve compensation if you are involved in a car accident at someone else’s fault. Sometimes, getting that money can be difficult. You might have to take the defendant and their insurance company to court. Insurance companies prefer not to solve the issue in court, since results are unpredictable and the process is expensive. Instead, it is more common for their insurance provider to compensate you with an injury settlement.
The goal of an insurance settlement is to compensate the claimant for any financial loss and inconvenience they endured or will continue to endure. In this post, we will discuss factors that determine a settlement’s value, variables to consider when determining what you deserve in a settlement, and an important tip. First, here are some of the primary factors that will determine the value of the settlement.
Factors That Determine the Value of the Settlement
- Type and Duration of Injuries. If you walk away from the car accident with bruises and cuts that will go away by themselves, then your settlement won’t be worth much. If you have broken bones or injuries that will hurt and affect you for a while, your settlement should be worth much more.
- Financial Costs: This category includes things like medical bills, missed time from work, and the cost of fixing or replacing your vehicle. Without documentation, none of these factors will play into the final value of your settlement.
- Clarity of who is at fault. The more evidence that the defendant really was responsible, the larger the settlement should be. If a traffic camera caught someone running a red light and hitting your vehicle, the settlement would have a higher value. On the other hand, if there was no concrete evidence, or it was not entirely their fault, the settlement will be worth less.
Here are some factors you should consider when determining the amount you deserve in your car accident settlement.
1. Economic Damages. This type of damage can be easily quantified. If you are in a car accident, there will be some financial impact. It is important that you have financial documentation of every financial hit you take because of the accident. When you have documented evidence, you should receive more money. Here are three primary areas to consider when calculating your economic damage.
- Property Damage Costs. If there is damage to the vehicle, either use the bill from fixing it or have a claims adjuster determine how much that would cost. No matter what the final settlement amount, this amount should always be covered. Sometimes, the vehicle is worth less than it would cost to fix it. When that is the case, you will receive a sum of money that goes toward helping you obtain a new car. Since the amount is based on depreciation value, it will probably not actually cover the cost of a new vehicle.
- Medical expenses. If you endured an injury in the accident, any medical bills should be included in the settlement offer. Like the property damage, if there are medical expenses, they should be fully covered. Before you file a claim, It is important that you consider both past and future medical expenses. Once you claim your settlement, you can’t come back and demand more compensation.
- Loss of Potential Income. If you had to miss any work because of the accident, you should be compensated for the money you would have earned. You must have documentation of the time missed for this to apply.
2. Non-Economic Damages. In addition to the economic damages, there are non-economic damages. These damages have no price tag, so it is difficult to quantify their exact worth. Pain and suffering is the main one. This is difficult because pain is relative and impossible to measure. However, the more pain you experience, the more compensation you should receive. Medical records are a good way to document the suffering that you have experienced.
As you calculate what to expect for your insurance claim from the auto accident, there is another important factor to consider: what is the other person worth? Let’s say that you believe your settlement offer should be upwards of $20,000. There are times when the defendant and their insurance company legitimately won’t have the resources to provide that to you.
The defendant’s insurance policy probably has a cap on it. Your claim may exceed that number. If that is the case, you can adjust you should adjust the settlement to match the policy amount. If you still deserve more, you can hire an attorney to file a lawsuit and sue the individual. If the defendant does not have insurance at all, then having an attorney sue them is also your best option.
If you have been in an accident and have questions about your settlement, contact our office today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our team wants to ensure that you are adequately compensated.