Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but for many people, their problems are just beginning. Insurance payments, medical expenses, the shock and distress caused by the accident — all these things can mount up. If you’ve been affected by a car accident, you may be considering legal action to recover costs or compensate you for any harm you may have suffered. A car accident settlement might be the solution, reimbursing you for expenses relating to the accident and compensating you for any injuries or psychological impact.
Car accident insurance settlements
When you’re in a car accident, you will usually receive an insurance settlement. Your company may pay for repairs or a replacement, even if the crash was your fault. If another driver was involved and they bear some responsibility for the wreck, their insurance company may pay you. This settlement should compensate you for any material losses, as well as pain and suffering.
The amounts you receive may be less than you hope or expect. While you can usually get reimbursed for monetary expenses like repairs, it can be harder to assess and receive compensation for the psychological impact of the accident. A car accident lawsuit can help you to get compensation for things that insurance usually doesn’t remedy.
How much can I expect to receive from a car accident lawsuit?
Before beginning the car accident lawsuit process, it’s useful to know what kind of insurance settlement you might expect. You may not need to litigate if the insurance payout is satisfactory.
When it comes to determining a settlement, much will depend on the type of insurance held by you and the other driver. For example, if you’re in an accident with a driver who didn’t have insurance, or whose insurance was insufficient, this can hurt your settlement unless your policy includes cover for uninsured or under-insured drivers. You may need to sue the individual to make up the difference.
The severity of the injuries and the cost of any medical bills will factor heavily into the amount you receive. You must be clear about any ongoing treatment and likely future expenses. The judge who looks at your case will take future treatment stemming from the accident into consideration. Lost wages due to recovery are another consideration.
Liability for the accident will be a significant factor. For example, if the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may receive a larger settlement. If you are found to have contributed to the accident occurring, that will negatively impact your claim.
The amount of damage to your vehicle and other property will be factored into your settlement. If you need to repair or replace your car, you may be able to receive money for this. You’ll also be able to claim other expenses relating to the crash. This can include expenses like alternative transport while your car is repaired. In the case of severe disability, it can consist of the cost of modifications to your home. If you have to change jobs or can’t work anymore, you should be compensated for this.
Non-economic factors may also impact on your settlement. If you suffer long-term trauma, are disfigured, have to stop pursuing your usual interests, or are otherwise rendered unable to enjoy your life as you previously did, this may be considered too.
In the final analysis, whether or not to litigate will be a personal choice. A typical settlement may be around three to four times the amount of any medical bills. The amount will vary based on several factors, including those mentioned above. If you do decide to pursue litigation, be aware that this can be very time-consuming. Some cases may take years to resolve. If your chief concern is getting back to normal as quickly as you can, it may be worth settling for the insurance payment rather than engaging in litigation. In cases where the payment is significantly lower than you were hoping for, and the insurance company is refusing to negotiate, litigation may be your best option.