What Are the Settlement Factors in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you have been involved in a car accident, you are likely experiencing many negative consequences, including injuries, financial difficulties, and emotional trauma. An Ohio car accident attorney can help lessen the burden you face, and the legal team at the Henry Law Firm is ready to work with you to gain the compensation you deserve. We will stand by your side to evaluate your unique case and educate you on the potential settlement amount you could receive.
Did you know that a study from the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) shows that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people between 1 and 54, and 4.4 million people have serious enough injuries requiring medical attention every year? Car accidents are often life changing, and we can assure you the experienced attorneys at the Henry Law Firm can help you continue life as normal.
How Much Is My Car Accident?
It can be challenging to determine the settlement value of your claim because there are numerous factors in a car accident settlement lawsuit. Many attorneys gather helpful evidence and information regarding personal injury cases at deposition which is a formal question and answer session used to help build your case. It’s not unusual for your compensation to be obtained in the form of a settlement as many personal injury cases don’t make it to trial. But what exactly is the difference between a settlement and trial? Let’s take a look:
- Settlement: A formal resolution of a lawsuit that is agreed upon before the matter is taken to court. A settlement can be reached at any point during litigation, and it’s not unusual for a case to be settled before a formal lawsuit is filed.
- Trial: Parties involved in a lawsuit bring a personal injury case to trial so each party’s case can be argued in front of a judge or jury. The judge or jury are responsible for determining whether or not the defendant will be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages.
Unfortunately, there is no predetermined amount that you will receive from either an insurance company or an at-fault party. Instead, the amount you receive will depend on specific facts surrounding your particular situation.
The Top Six Settlement Factors in a Car Accident Case
There are many factors that can impact the outcome of your car accident case. However, we have sourced the top six factors that most commonly affect the settlement amount you could receive in an Ohio car accident case.
Severity of Impact
Insurance companies evaluate whether your accident was a light, medium, or heavy impact crash. The same injuries in a heavy impact crash will be compensated higher than those in a light impact crash. Factors in determining what type of impact you suffered include:
- Was your car drivable from the scene?
- Did your airbags deploy?
- How fast were the vehicles traveling at the time of the crash? Was it a highway crash?
- Where was your vehicle hit? Was it a rear-end or head-on collision?
- Did your vehicle rollover or leave the roadway?
Regardless of the severity of your impact, it is critical that you document property damage with photographs. It’s vital that you take pictures of any damage to your car, the other party’s car, the roadway, and any additional evidence like skid marks or broken glass. Obtaining documentation that displays the full extent of damage will help your car accident attorney advocate for higher injury settlements.
It’s incredibly crucial that you receive prompt medical attention after you have been in a car accident. Deciding whether to seek medical attention immediately following your accident can affect the likelihood of attaining a favorable settlement.
When you delay receiving medical attention, you give insurance companies a reason to question your injury claim. Insurance companies can argue that the car accident did not cause the injuries you sustained. By going to the emergency room or doctor immediately, you will create a medical record that we can use to help you establish a stronger case.
Severity of Sustained Injuries
We have handled numerous car accident cases that have resulted in victims suffering minor to catastrophic injuries or death. The severity of the injuries suffered affects the value of a person’s personal injury claim.
Minor injuries such as neck or back sprains and strains result in less compensation compared to more severe injuries like those affecting your spinal cord or brain. However, this does not mean that significant payment won’t be received for minor injuries. We can evaluate the injuries you have suffered alongside the other factors to get you the best settlement possible at our firm.
Medical Bill Amounts
In Ohio, insurance companies will always consider the cost of your medical bills in valuing your claim. Specifically, insurance looks at the amount paid on your invoices.
For example, if you have a $1,000 hospital bill, but your insurance paid $300 on the bill, and the hospital wrote off (or “adjusted”) the other $700, the insurance company will consider your medical bill to be $300.
This does not mean that you should avoid seeking thorough and diligent treatment. On the contrary, seeking comprehensive treatment serves two essential purposes:
- It helps you recover to baseline faster and rules out any more significant injuries.
- It presents a larger medical bill number for consideration by insurance.
Insurance Company Case Management
All insurance companies will try to give you a settlement amount that is significantly less than what you deserve. The fact is, insurance companies worldwide are in the business of saving money and want to pay out the lowest amount possible for car accident claims. Additionally, a few insurance companies will even engage in questionable insurance tactics to try and lower the value of your claim.
Unfortunately, not all insurance companies are created equal. Some will pay significantly less than others for the same claim. At the Henry Law Firm, we have significant experience with lousy insurance companies and the worst insurance companies and understand how to maximize the value of your case no matter who is on the other side.
By working with us towards building a strong case of fault and liability, you will be better equipped to handle an insurance company and its tactics.
Assistance From a Personal Injury Attorney
Whether or not you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your lawsuit can affect the settlement amount you receive. Most insurance companies are aware of the law firms willing to fight hard for their clients and take cases to court if need be.
An insurance company could take your claim more seriously if you are working with a qualified lawyer.
Damages You Could Seek In a Car Accident Settlement
When you seek monetary damages in a car accident, they will usually fall under the categories of either economic or non-economic damages. Read on to learn more about the damages you could seek in your car accident settlement with the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Economic damages focus on your out of pocket losses that you had to incur because of the car accident and your injuries, including medical bills and lost wages. Economic damages will have a tangible price tag associated with them, and may include the following:
- Ambulance bills
- Laboratory tests
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages and income compensation
- Property damages
- Utility bills
Non-economic damages are not as easily measured as they do not have a quantifiable price tag that can be easily attached to them. However, a monetary amount should be recognized for non-economic damages as you have suffered beyond your medical bills when you get injured in a car crash. Non-economic damages can consist of:
- Mental anguish and duress
- Emotional distress
- A person’s loss of enjoyment in life
- A loss of a companion
- The loss of a company due to a tarnished reputation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Physical disfigurement such as scars and burns
Contact an Ohio Car Accident Attorney Today for Your Settlement
Calculating a fair settlement amount can be challenging because many factors need evaluation when initiating a personal injury lawsuit. Fortunately, an Ohio car accident lawyer like those at the Henry Law Firm can help you.
We know the various factors that need to be evaluated at the Henry Law Firm to determine the settlement amount you could receive. Additionally, we can help you navigate the different legal steps surrounding settlements so that you have a higher chance of achieving the compensation you justly deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.