Assessing the value of a car accident claim is not an exact science; it will depend on a variety of factors. Most often, the largest variable that affects claim assessments is the type and severity of personal injury incurred. While clients ultimately make their own decision on how to handle their claim, having their claim assessed by a lawyer provides that client with important advice on how to proceed. With a lawyer’s estimate of a claim amount, the client can best decide on whether they should settle, proceed with the claim, or continue on to litigation or trial.
Various Injuries that Affect Car Accident Claims
As the type and severity of the injury the car accident victim has incurred is the single most important variable affecting the value of a car accident claim, below is a list of common car accident-related injuries:
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries/whiplash
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial scars
- Soft-tissue damage
- Chest injuries
- Emotional/psychological trauma
Even for experienced personal injury and car accident lawyers, assigning a settlement value to a claim is a big challenge, but that is why it is so important to have a lawyer assess the value of a car accident claim before deciding on how to proceed. In order to get the most from your claim, you will need to know whether it is best to settle, file the claim, proceed with litigation, or go all the way to trial.
Additional Variables that Affect Car Accident Claims
In addition to personal injury, there are other variables that play a role in what kind of value a car accident claim has. The at-fault driver’s insurance coverage plays a role in what kind of money you can receive for damages. Vehicle damage also will be assessed. Sometimes, if your vehicle has received little to no damage, it can be argued that your injuries could not be that severe. Medical expenses that you incurred from treatment related to the car-accident injury immediately after the crash, as well as throughout the healing process, will also be factored into your damages.
Any missed work and wages as a result of an accident-related injury will also be taken into consideration and added into the calculation of your damages. In addition to the physical damage caused by your injury, pain and suffering also comes into play when assessing a claim. Pain and suffering includes any emotional or psychological stress or trauma that affects your quality of life after the accident. Loss of sleep and anxiety are also variables that will be considered.
Your conduct during the accident will also be considered; this means how, if at all, at fault you are. If you are even partially at fault, the insurance company can offer a substantially reduced settlement offer.
If you were involved in a car accident and are unsure as to what your next step should be, reach out to an experienced attorney who can assess the car crash damages and advise you on how to proceed.