After a car accident, you may suffer serious damages like medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages during your recovery period, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you did not cause the accident, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim — and you may wonder how much the average settlement is worth.
The truth is, car accident settlements vary from case to case. A number of factors may influence how much your case is worth, such as the severity of your accident and the types of damages you experienced.
In a car accident claim, you can receive two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are easy to quantify, since they involve your out-of-pocket losses such as medical bills, transportation costs, vehicle repairs, and lost wages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to your physical and emotional pain and suffering and are more difficult to estimate. Your attorney can help you determine your estimated settlement amount.
In some cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages in addition to your economic and non-economic damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault driver instead of compensating you for your damages. To claim this compensation, you will need to prove that the at-fault driver acted in malice with an evil hand and evil mind.
Settlement amounts for car accidents vary widely, from a few thousand dollars for minor cases to hundreds of thousands of dollars for serious, life-threatening accidents. Several factors play a role in increasing your estimated settlement amount, including the following.
Some factors may decrease your settlement amount as well. For example, if you shared a portion of the liability in your accident, the court will reduce the amount of compensation you receive by the percentage of fault you share. Disorganization, impatience, and a lack of reliable witnesses may also reduce your compensation.
While the car accident claims process may seem straightforward, hiring an attorney to assist you with your case can help increase your chances of receiving a settlement and the overall settlement award amount. This is due to the fact that your attorney will have years of experience handling these types of claims.
Your attorney will help you identify all the damages you qualify for, helping you create an accurate calculation of your estimated settlement. He or she will also evaluate every settlement offer you receive from the insurance company, and will not hesitate to negotiate for a higher amount if necessary.
If you enter the process alone, you may inadvertently accept a lower settlement than what you need, lack the negotiation skills necessary to increase a settlement offer, and be unable to access the evidence you need to prove your claim. Contact a Prescott car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin taking the necessary steps toward compensation.