You have a right to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident where the other driver was at fault. But how much compensation should you seek? And how much of a settlement should you realistically expect for your car accident injuries?
This is a difficult question to answer since each case is different. How much you collect for your injuries in a car accident depends on many factors, including:
- State laws pertaining to injuries and awards in auto accidents
- Who is at fault and by how much
- The other driver’s insurance coverage
- Your medical expenses
- Your lost earnings
- Your pain and suffering
- Estimated future medical expenses
Compensation for Present and Future Expenses
When considering a car accident settlement, the accident victims need to think about the long-term expenses that will result from their injuries. Depending on your injuries, your recovery may take months, even years, and affect the rest of your life.
The true costs of your injuries may end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s important to seek the aid of an experienced auto accident lawyer – they will be able to determine the total costs of your injuries and seek a car accident settlement that addresses your short and long term needs.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
When you file a car accident claim, you are asking the responsible party or parties to make restitution for the damages resulting from your injuries. Damages fall into two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses you can assign a dollar amount to. Economic damages are calculated based on bills and other records. These calculations are also used to determine future economic losses. These include past and future medical expenses, as well as lost wages and earnings.
Non-economic damages are losses that are difficult to assign an exact dollar amount. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, losses associated with disfigurement or disability, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The Insurance Companies Will Try to Limit Your Compensation
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the insurance company only has your best interests at heart. They’ll offer a low initial car accident settlement, hoping you’ll settle quickly and cheaply. It’s not designed to address your needs as much as it is to save the insurance company as much time and trouble as possible.
Insurance companies often rely on computer programs to calculate the amount of compensation they feel you deserve. While these may be effective at determining economic damages, they may be unable to provide a true estimate of your non-economic damages.
Factors That Could Have an Impact on How Much Your Car Accident Settlement Will Be
The amount of compensation your attorney will be able to negotiate in your case can be impacted by several factors:
The consistency of your statements regarding the events leading up to the accident. You will be giving your version of the events several times and the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will compare each of these versions to determine if there are any inconsistencies. The more consistent you are the more credibility you will have as a witness and the more difficult it will be for the insurance companies to find discrepancies that can be used against you.
Evidence that the other driver was at fault. The stronger the evidence you have supporting your claim that the other driver was at fault, the more likely you are to win a bigger settlement.
Your fault in the accident. The amount of money you recover may be reduced if it is determined that you were partially at fault in the accident. Florida is a state with “pure comparative negligence” laws, which means the dollar amount you are awarded could be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident.
Your actions after the crash. Your physical activities should be consistent with the injuries you claim to have suffered. The insurance companies will be watching you closely in the days and weeks after you file your claim. If they observe you engaged in physical activities that your alleged injuries should prevent you from being able to do, this could have a negative effect on the amount of settlement you will receive. Knowingly lying to an insurance company to increase the amount of your settlement could lead to criminal charges for insurance fraud.
Speak with Attorney Tania L. Rivas About Getting Compensation for your Auto Accident Injuries
The most effective way to ensure you get the settlement you deserve after your automobile accident is to seek the services of an experienced South Florida auto injury attorney. With offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Lutz, Tania L. Rivas has been successfully representing clients injured in car accidents for many years and possesses the skills, expertise and resolve to obtain the highest settlement possible for her clients.
The Rivas Law Group offers potential clients a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case and advise you on how to proceed with your claim. We handle our automobile accident cases on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t earn our fee unless we win your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you can depend on Tania L. Rivas and the Rivas Law Group to help set things right. Contact us today at (877) 299-5539 to schedule an appointment with an car accident injury attorney.