If you drive often, chances are you will be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 6,700 people were hurt in car accidents in the United States in 2015. After an accident, you may be facing a mountain of medical bills, transportation costs and be unable to work. Fortunately, the law gives accident victims a way to seek compensation for their injuries. But how do you know how much your accident case is worth? Below is an overview of personal injury law and how to determine how much compensation you may obtain through a lawsuit.
If you file a lawsuit to seek a monetary settlement for your injuries sustained in an automobile accident, you must be able to prove the at-fault driver is liable for your injuries and damages. To do this, you must be able to prove the other driver was negligent or reckless in some way and that is why the crash occurred. Some things that may be considered negligent are:
- Turning In An Unsafe Manner
- Failing To Yield The Right Of Way
- Driving Under The Influence
- Texting Or Talking While Driving
- Failing To Obey Signs And Traffic Signals
- Driving Aggressively
If the at-fault driver was negligent, you may be awarded a monetary settlement for your injuries. It is important to note that the laws regarding negligence, vary from state-to-state. In states that follow comparative negligence law, both drivers may be assigned a percentage of the blame in an accident and that can affect how much you receive in a settlement.
What your accident is worth will also depend on just how serious your injuries were and the extent of your damages. Some of the most common automobile accident injuries seen in personal injury lawsuits are:
- Spinal Cord Injuries With Full Or Partial Paralysis
- Brain Injuries
- Crush Injuries
- Broken Bones And Fractures
- Facial Disfigurement
- Amputated Or Severed Limbs
- Neck And Back Injuries
The vast majority of automobile insurance companies use software such as Colossus to calculate a settlement after an accident. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to question the extent and severity of your injuries, to avoid paying more money on your claim. This is why it is a good idea to have an experienced personal injury lawyer working for you, so you receive a fair settlement.
The amount of your monetary damages are another factor insurance companies take into consideration when calculating a settlement. You may receive money for damages such as:
- Hospital And Doctor Bills
- Emergency Room Costs
- Surgery Fees
- Cost Of Occupational, Physical Or Speech Therapy
- Lost Wages Due To Time Off From Work
- Alternate Transportation Costs
- Cost Of Ambulance Transport
If you suffer severe injuries due to gross negligence on the part of the other driver, you may also be awarded money for pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress. Some states will also award punitive damages in cases of gross negligence. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party, so they will not make the same mistake again and hurt someone else. Calculating how much your accident is worth is not an easy task. Personal injury law is complex and the legal process difficult to navigate. For this reason, it is typically best to seek legal counsel so you receive fair compensation for your car accident claim.