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Calculating the Value of a Car Accident Settlement


Car accidents happen, and tens of thousands of people suffer from car crashes leading to multiple injuries, trauma, and some cases even result in death. Sadly, those lucky enough to survive such a traumatic accident also have to bear the burden of meeting medical bills and expenses and endure so much pain.

Under these circumstances, the only logical step forward is filing for a claim through a personal injury lawyer and receiving just compensation for the suffering and financial burden. However, most people’s settlements often end with insufficient values on average, leaving the plaintiff feeling cheated and robbed. So, to best avoid this happening and get the full value of your case, today we’ll be learning what factors go into calculating the value of a car accident settlement.

Knowing the Extent of Your Injury

As the name suggests, a personal injury claim on a car accident primarily revolves around the injuries you’ve sustained. And knowing the extent of your injury caused by accident has a significant impact on the full value of your case. Injuries can vary from accident to accident, and the severity of your injury is the cornerstone of your claim.

  • Larger Injuries = Larger Payouts: If you leave a car accident safe, unscathed, and only with a couple of mild bruises and cuts, it’s much harder to get anything out of a personal injury claim, and most courts might even rule it worthless. However, suppose you experience any large injuries like whiplash, severe back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and the like. In that case, these will increase the full value of your case and get you larger payouts.
  • Consistent Medical Treatment: The amount of medical treatment and attention your injuries require will also contribute to your settlement’s value, as this serves as proof for urgency and the degree of injuries sustained from the car accident. As a good rule of thumb, make sure to ask for the medical records and request to see how the doctor notes your situation because these documents are evidence to support your personal injury claim.
  • Need For Surgery: If you sustain severe injuries that require surgery, like damage to your spinal cord, a shattered leg, or a severely herniated disc, these will substantially increase the full value of your claim into six figures. And because you will still need months of therapy and incur a large sum of medical expenses, it is only just that your settlement value increases proportionately.

As a quick note, if you ever do find yourself in a car accident or know someone who’s gotten into one, we strongly encourage you to take an MRI scan. This procedure can help identify any other damage to your organs, tearing, and even diagnose severe conditions caused by the incident.

Fault in a Car Accident

car owner

Secondly, the amount of fault both the defendant and the plaintiff are responsible for in a car accident can largely affect what percentage of the settlement will be paid. If you were 90% at fault, and the evidence can prove it, the defendant will only have to pay 10% of the full value. As such, if the defendant is proven 100% at fault, then you will receive 100% of the full value for your personal injury claim.

  • Event Data Recorder: if you get into a car accident, the best advice we can give you is hiring a professional to retrieve the event data recorder (EDR), which is basically the black box for cars. This tool can provide information on the system status before the crash, how fast the car was going, and any other relevant post-crash data.
  • Request The 911 Call: It is always good practice to request the 911 call that alerted your car accident, especially if the defendant was the caller. In this situation, if the defendant was recorded, admitting that it was their fault for the crash, this can significantly benefit your case and have the court rule in your favor.

The Adverse Effect of Insurance Coverage

On a bitter note, there are cases where you won’t be rewarded the full amount of your personal injury claim even if the case was ruled in your favor. Since the settlement value will be met with the defendant’s insurance coverage, if they have none, then you would also be left with no compensation on your end. Of course, you could come to an agreement with the defendant that they will pay you out-of-pocket, but these situations don’t often meet the full value of your claim.

Get in Touch with an Expert

Overall, you’ll still want the help of a professional because personal injury laws can vary from state and even the city. So, make sure that you get in contact with a lawyer where the accident in question happened to get expert advice.

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