In order to properly heal from your car accident injuries, you must obtain the compensation that you deserve. However, how much to expect from car accident settlement is a complex problem that involves a variety of factors. Let’s take a look at those factors below.
Determining Who is At-Fault for the Accident
Many states employ a fault-based system for car accidents. This simply means that the person or party who caused the accident is financially responsible to cover for any damages sustained. Because of this, you may be at the mercy of the at-fault party’s insurance policy. Basically, if the at-fault driver carries a minimal policy, or if your injuries are serious enough, then you may need to look for additional sources of compensation. On the flip side, if the at-fault driver works for a commercial driving company, then you may be looking at millions of dollars in coverage.
Unfortunately, many states also employ a very strict rule of contributory negligence, which means that you cannot recover damages if you are even partially responsible for the accident. Using this rule, insurance companies may attempt to shift some of the blame onto you. This is why you need an experienced car accident attorney to hold the at-fault party responsible.
Demonstrating the Extent of Your Injuries
Another factor that may affect how much you’ll receive from your car accident settlement is the extent to which you are injured. The general rule of thumb is the more severe your injuries, the bigger the settlement amount. For instance, if you only suffered minor bruises and scrapes, then your settlement will be lower than if you had suffered broken bones or worse.
Requiring Extensive Medical Treatment
Likewise to the extent of your injuries, the more extensive medical treatment that you’ll need, the higher the amount of settlement that you’ll receive. Extensive medical treatment includes complicated procedures or surgeries, ongoing physical therapy, and cocktails of daily prescription medication. In addition, while you recovery, you are more than likely going to miss work. The longer that you miss work, the more compensation required to make you whole again.
Proving the Negligence of the At-Fault Driver
The negligence of the at-fault party is another important factor considered when determining the amount of settlement awarded. Sometimes, car accidents occur from minor mistakes, such as hydroplaning during a torrential downpour. However, other times, car accidents occur due to the gross negligence of a careless driver. For instance, gross negligence can include driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How negligent the at-fault driver was during the accident will impact the value of your car accident settlement. Furthermore, if the at-fault driver was acting negligent enough, then you also be able to seek punitive damages as well, which go well beyond simple compensation. The design of this type of damage is to punish drivers for their gross misconduct behind the wheel.
Insurance companies will always look for ways to avoid paying out settlement claims. They are not your friend, and they do not consider your best interests. In fact, insurers have been known to dissuade claimants from hiring attorneys simply to get the upper hand and get out of paying on the claim.
In order to properly obtain the compensation that you deserve, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney ready to take on the insurance company.
Etengoff Pak Law Group Is Ready to Help
Any seasoned car accident attorney worth their salt knows how much to expect from car accident settlements. Contact our knowledgeable legal team at Etengoff Pak Law Group to accurately value your claim and obtain the compensation that you need.