After an Arizona car accident, it is common to wonder how much money you can expect to receive at the conclusion of your insurance claim or lawsuit. Since car accident settlements vary depending on the circumstances of your crash, your attorney cannot provide an exact estimate until he or she examines the evidence. However, there are certain factors that can influence your settlement amount.
Potential Damages in a Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can result in serious hardships, such as thousands of dollars in medical bills, weeks of lost wages, extensive vehicle repairs, and serious physical and psychological pain. Under Arizona’s fault insurance laws, you can collect three types of damages in your claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
- Economic damages refer to your tangible financial losses, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, and property repairs.
- Non-economic damages encompass your physical and emotional pain and suffering, such as chronic pain, loss of quality of life, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Arizona courts award punitive damages if the at-fault driver acted with an evil mind. This means the driver had ill will toward you and intentionally caused harm, such as acts of road rage, or knew that he or she was committing a dangerous act and continued to do so, such as drunk driving.
Factors That Influence a Car Accident Settlement
Car accident settlements vary based on the severity of the collision, ranging from a couple thousand dollars for minor collisions to tens of thousands of dollars for long-term, severe injuries. Certain factors determine how much compensation you can expect to receive in your claim.
- Lawsuits versus insurance claims: If you are filing an insurance claim, policy limits may decrease your award amount. You cannot claim compensation that exceeds the coverage the at-fault driver holds. If you file a lawsuit, on the other hand, these policy limits do not apply, and you will likely see a higher award.
- Severe injuries: The more severe your injuries, the higher your settlement will be. Severe injuries require long-term medical care, lead to longer recovery periods and time away from work, and can cause significant emotional and physical trauma.
- Complex liability: If you cannot clearly prove the other driver’s liability, your settlement may be at risk. Insurance companies will deny your claim if they believe you are at fault, and Arizona’s comparative negligence laws will reduce your award by the percentage of liability you share.
- Your ability to work: Lost wages factor into your final settlement, and the amount of time you spend away from work may impact your pain and suffering award as well. The longer you spend away from work due to your injuries, the higher your settlement will likely be. If you cannot return to work at all, you may receive compensation for permanent disability and the loss of future earnings, which can increase your settlement.
Hire an Arizona Car Accident Lawyer
When filing a car accident claim, it is important to find your optimal path toward maximum compensation. Hiring a Prescott Valley car accident lawyer to represent your claim can help you achieve the settlement you need to recover.
Your lawyer will have the ability to evaluate your claim and produce an estimated settlement based on several factors, such as the input of expert witnesses, your long-term care needs, and the pain and suffering you experienced. Your attorney can also negotiate for a higher settlement on your behalf if you do not receive an adequate offer.
As soon as possible after your accident, seek medical attention for your injuries. Once you receive treatment, contact an Arizona car accident lawyer as soon as possible.