How Much Should I Settle for My Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you weren’t at fault, one of the first questions you may ask is “How much is my case worth?” The answer to that question is, “It depends.” The details of every accident injury case are different, so the amount that will constitute an adequate settlement will vary widely.

What Does the Value of a Car Wreck Depend On?

If you were in a car wreck because of the negligence of another but you did not suffer any physical injuries, the at-fault driver’s insurance may cover the damage to your vehicle. In a no-fault state, your own insurance will be used for repairs to your vehicle or for the fair market value when the vehicle is totaled, up to the policy’s limit.

You are also eligible to make a diminished value claim, the details of which will depend on the state where you live. This is one of several ways attorneys can earn their keep. It isn’t unheard of for an insurance company to fail to mention that you have a right to a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle.

There are online calculators to estimate the value of your car wreck. However, calculating your personal injury settlementwith online tools might be misleading. Insurance adjusters are not all created equal. Some adjusters and some insurance companies are easier to work with than others. Virtually all of them will offer you far less than the full value of your claim.

If the insurance company won’t give you as much as you need to cover your damages, you may end up taking them to court. When this happens, there are jurisdictional considerations for which you may need a lawyer. Online calculators are not equipped to cover every variable in all situations.

What If You Are Injured?

What will guide how much your claim is worth if you are injured will, once again, depend on the specifics. The factors to be considered include:● Property damage● Loss of income● Medical bills● Pain and suffering

The severity of a crash victim’s injuries plays an important role in the value of a personal injury claim. They can sometimes also be linked to the severity of damage to the vehicle.

If you’re hurt and you’re filing a claim, it is important that you complete treatment. This includes following all of your doctor’s instructions for your recovery. Sometimes this can go on for years if the injuries were severe. In that case, future medical attention becomes part of the medical bills category.

Common Injuries Suffered in a Car Wreck

Over three-million people are injured or disabled in car crashes every year. The most common serious injuries people suffer because of a wreck are:● Whiplash injuries● Fractured or broken bones● Traumatic brain injuries● Spinal cord injuries● Back injuries● Burns● Disfigurement● Loss of limbs

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it provides an overview of the serious nature of trauma that people in car crashes may face.

The Consequences of Serious Car Crashes

Damaged or destroyed vehicles and injuries are only two of the consequences of car crashes. Additional ramifications may include the following:● Financial troubles● Loss of livelihood● Loss of transportation● Emotional suffering

Financial Troubles

Money can become tight after a car crash. Even if an insurance company pays on the claim, it may take months or longer for them to do so, and during this time you may not be able to work. The coverage available also may not be sufficient. 

Loss of Livelihood

If your injury is bad enough that you are left disabled, you may not be able to return to work. You may even need to get training in a new field or use specialized assistive technology. You can also be compensated for your lost salary, for the loss of your future income, and for training or equipment. 

Loss of Transportation

In some cases, you may end up without transportation, and you may have to rent a car in the meantime. The cost of the repair or replacement of your vehicle plus any additional travel expenses, including medical travel, can also be included in your damages. 

Emotional Suffering

A victim of a car wreck that was caused by the negligence of another often suffers emotionally. Car wrecks cause PTSD in many people. This can result in flashbacks, anxiety, insomnia, stress, and many other issues. If this happens to you, you can claim damages for your pain and suffering.

Most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations to look at your claim. It is a good idea to take advantage of this opportunity as opposed to trusting an online calculator, because only a lawyer can tell you what your claim is really worth. If you leave it up to a calculator or an insurance claims adjuster, you could end up settling for much less than you need.

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