One of the common questions most car accident lawyers get is how much settlement victims can expect after a car accident. There is no one answer to this question. Many factors will influence how much you can expect to get. As your attorney will tell you, every case is unique, and many factors contribute. Read on to find out some of the things that determine the settlement you can expect.
The Type of Injuries Sustained in the Accident
You’re likely to sustain injuries if you’re involved in a serious car accident. They can be mild, such as a few bruises and scrapes, or something severe that disfigures your body. The more severe an injury is, the more settlement you’ll get. For instance, someone who suffers a traumatic brain injury will receive more cash than someone who breaks their arm.
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Who Caused the Accident
The party at fault is liable for the damage caused. In some instances, one party might be fully to blame for the accident, while in other cases, both parties may be responsible. If you were partly to blame for the accident, your settlement would be reduced. For instance, if a drunk driver hit you, but you were overspeeding, you might get 70% of your settlement. With that said, never admit fault before consulting with an attorney first.
Strength of the Medical Records
Medical records are an important piece of information when seeking a settlement. As most attorneys advise, seek medical care immediately after an accident. Allow a doctor to treat your injuries and link them to the accident. Without solid medical evidence, an insurance company might say your injuries weren’t related to the accident, leading to a lower settlement.
Your Statements After a Car Accident
After an accident, never say sorry. This can easily be misinterpreted as admitting fault. When the police show up, don’t lie. Speak only facts about the accident. The same applies when talking to medical providers about an accident. An insurance adjuster may ask you for a statement. Don’t give it before seeking legal advice from experts like the Bruning Law Firm car accident lawyers. Insurance adjusters have been trained to ask leading questions that can implicate you and reduce your settlement.
While most people know they can be compensated for medical bills and lost wages, not many are aware they can demand compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. Such expenses include:
- Someone to help with household chores and personal care
- Required medical equipment for use at home
- Travel expenses for medical appointments
- Modification of your car or home because of permanent impairment
Document all these out-of-pocket expenses and share the information with your attorney. You can increase your settlement by showing these receipts during negotiations.
Ability to Return to Work
In all types of personal injury cases, victims get awarded different types of damages. One of them is loss of income. If an accident prevents you from working, you should be compensated for lost income. But did you know you can also be compensated for future lost wages? This happens if you can’t return to work. Also, if an injury reduces your ability to work, you can demand compensation for reduced earning capacity.
Your Level of Patience
Once you and your attorney have gathered evidence, you’ll begin the negotiation process with the insurance company. This is a back-and-forth process that isn’t always smooth sailing. Most people get frustrated and take what the insurance company offers, while others are patient until they get what they rightfully deserve.
As you can tell, many things contribute to the amount of settlement you’ll get. Working with a skilled car accident attorney and being patient will help you get fair compensation. Don’t be in a rush to accept what the insurance company offers. Take your time and listen to your attorney.