You can seek financial relief and compensation after a car wreck. Car accident settlements can involve many moving pieces. An attorney who specializes in car accident injuries is the best way to help you.
Your attorney will manage the negotiation with insurance companies, as well as navigate the legal process. You play a crucial role in helping your lawyer determine the exact amount of damages you sustained. The more information you can give, the easier it will be for you to receive fair compensation.
We’ll be discussing five main factors in a case for personal injury following a vehicle accident.
1. The severity of your injures or losses
The extent of your injury will have a major impact on the settlement value for your car accident case. The settlement will generally reflect the severity of your injury. This means that you will need to pay more for treatment and hospital bills.
In small cases, settlements for minor injuries like cuts or bruises may not exceed a few thousand dollar. The cost of major brain and spinal injury could reach the millions depending upon the circumstances.
You need to take into account both the economic and noneconomic damage when considering injuries. Not only are there tangible costs to economic damage, but also:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing treatment
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Non-economic losses have value, but there isn’t a clear price tag. These damages include, but not limited too:
- There is no pain or suffering
- Loss or separation from companionship
- Diminished quality of Life
The auto accident lawyer hired will help you to get the damages repaid. They will help to value everything you’ve suffered because of the accident.
2. The Amount of Evidence Provided
In a car accident case, evidence is everything. The primary purpose of evidence in a car accident case is to attribute liability to the atfault party and hold them accountable to all the damages sustained. The more evidence that you present, the stronger your case.
Your chances to gather evidence begin right after the car accident. You will need to capture this information before you leave.
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle
- Pictures of the road conditions
- Pictures of the atfault party’s vehicle/licence plate
- Photo of any injuries suffered
- A copy of the police reports
- The medical team’s assessment on your injuries
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Contact information of the atfault party
Then, you and your car crash attorney will likely pursue any other evidence, including footage from traffic cameras or eyewitnesses statements. For the at-fault party to be held accountable, all evidence must be able to establish that there is no doubt. A strong case will prove that the responsible party is liable for all damages.
3. Your Participation in an Accident
Insurance companies and the defense attorney of the other party are motivated by one goal: to assign as much blame as possible to you to minimize their liability. To shift the responsibility, they will examine every detail about the accident.
Consider, for example: The at-fault party runs a red light while texting. Your vehicle is hit and you are injured. The insurance company for the at-fault driver may argue that you did not wear your seat belt properly. Instead of their client failing pay attention to the road, they may argue that you sustained injury because of your failure to wear your seat belt properly.
In these instances, they will try and attribute partial fault to your actions. Illinois law allows shared fault accidents down to percentages. Let’s say that driver A was the driver at fault in an accident. Driver B was the driver at fault. If driver B was able to pay $30,000 for medical damages, then the settlement would decrease by 20%. This would reduce the settlement to $24,000.
An experienced attorney in car accident law will help you assign blame. They will work in coordination with accident specialists and deal with insurance companies to determine fault and seek maximum compensation.
4. Insurance Coverage for The Other Driver
Drivers are legally required to carry auto insurance in almost all states. Your damages are usually covered by your insurance if you are in an accident.
What happens if the other driver does not have insurance?
After an accident, regardless of which driver’s insurance coverage is used, the same process applies. An uninsured driver may not give you any compensation, even though you try to sue them. The at-fault driver could face criminal charges for failure to have insurance coverage. However, this does not apply to you.
You may be entitled to damages if you have coverage for “uninsured” and “underinsured”. Your insurance company can help you to determine what coverage they offer after an accident.