Auto Accident Settlement
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car accident, you are likely watching the related bills pile up. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and other costs can all add up quickly — especially if you sustained severe injuries.
If you are considering filing a car accident claim, you may wonder about average settlement amounts. A Florida car accident lawyer can help.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our lawyers can help you determine your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. We recognize that every client has a unique story, so no two cases are valued equally. To get an idea of what you may be eligible for, let’s look at factors that impact car accident settlement offers.
Elements Impacting Car Accident Settlements
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine the value of your car accident claim without investigating the situation and considering all of your losses. Just know that the more severe your injury and losses, the higher your settlement offer is likely to be.
When you work with an attorney, they will help you determine what is a fair valuation for your accident and its related losses, which are collectively called damages. The primary factors they will consider include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The type of car accident you have been in, the speed at which the vehicles collided, and your prior health status all play into the severity of your injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries include broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, and contusions.
After the accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only do you want to ensure you are evaluated, diagnosed, and treated, but you will benefit from having all of your injuries officially documented. This documentation ensures you can connect your injuries to the date of your accident. When seeking compensation for your medical bills, your lawyer will help you gather statements from the emergency room, your doctor, and any other applicable facilities or appointments.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also need ongoing future care. If that is the case, your attorney will also consider projected future care costs when valuing the compensation you are owed for your injuries and the needed care to treat them.
If your injuries require you to take time off work, your damages will include lost income, referred to as lost wages on insurance policies. When you file a personal injury claim, you have the right to pursue compensation for those lost wages.
To calculate your lost wages, your lawyer will consider what you would have made normally had you been able to work. Lost wages, therefore, account for any difference in income when comparing your earnings before and after the injury. If your injuries are preventing you from returning to your former work duties, or you are no longer able to work at all due to a permanent disability, your lawyer can consider those factors as well, when valuing your lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
While medical bills and lost wages are considered economic damages, pain and suffering are forms of non-economic damage called general damages. These damages are harder to calculate as they are based on personal experience and more-subjective factors.
If your life has been significantly impacted by the accident, like if you sustained a debilitating injury that leaves you bedridden for weeks, your compensation for general damages would likely be higher. Your lawyer will also be sure to include factors like loss of enjoyment of life or loss of consortium, which refers to an inability to enjoy close familial relationships as before.
In rare instances, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages serve to punish the at-fault party for their actions while discouraging others from acting similarly in the future. However, punitive damages are only awarded when a case goes to a jury trial and are not available under insurance claims.
The Problem Negotiating With Insurance Companies
It is important to remember that, after your injury, the insurance company handling your claim is not on your side. Insurance companies and their adjusters focus on protecting their bottom line and increasing profits. It is likely they will try to reduce your settlement offer.
Settlement reductions are often explained by the insurance company claiming that your injuries are not as severe as you say. This is one of the reasons why it is crucial to maintain accurate medical records with your doctor regarding your car accident injuries.
Adjusters are also known to take answers to common questions like “how are you feeling?” and twist your responses into an interpretation that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. You may politely respond with “I’m feeling great, thanks,” and they may try to use that statement as proof that you aren’t feeling pain or long-term debilitation.
How to Maximize Your Compensation After a Crash
The hours, days, weeks, and even months after a crash can be tumultuous. To improve your chances of receiving the compensation you are owed, you’ll want to consider the following tips:
- Record as much as you can remember from your accident, including the time of day, information about the vehicle that hit you, and what you recall from the moments before.
- If possible, document the accident with photographs or videos. Your lawyer will be able to use this information later in your claim.
- When you seek medical attention, fully explain your injuries to your doctor. Do not leave anything out. Make sure this information makes it onto your medical records.
- Remember that you do not have to accept the first settlement offer. If the proposal is less than you deserve, you have the option to counter it. If negotiations are not fruitful, your lawyer can explain your rights regarding pursuing litigation.
Schedule a Consultation With a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a crash because of someone else’s negligence, Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd can help. With our car accident lawyers on Florida’s Treasure Coast, you can get on track to seeking the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
When you schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys, we will listen to what you have been through and explain your legal rights and options. If you pursue a claim with our legal assistance, we will guide you through the process and fight on your behalf for a full and fair settlement offer.
To learn more, call 866-460-1990 or contact us online today, and schedule your 100% free, confidential, no-risk case review.
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