Determining Car Accident Case Worth
Most personal injury attorneys who regularly deal with car accidents can attest to the fact that perhaps the most asked question by their clients relates to how much their car accident claim is worth. It’s a fair question, but one that has a relatively complex answer because putting a firm dollar amount on your car accident is far from easy. There are many factors that will affect the final settlement check, including who was at fault for the accident, whether that person had auto insurance, who the insurance carrier is, the extent of the injuries, and how aggressively the defendant’s legal team will work to devalue the claim.
Because there are so many issues associated with a car accident claim, it is imperative that you have a solid legal advocate in your corner from start to finish. The Cohen & Malad, LLP injury lawyers have the necessary experience and knowledge to make your car accident claim so much easier than it would otherwise be. We will be in your corner, aggressively defending your rights every step of the way.
The majority of car accident claims settle long before they end up before a jury. In fact, the only time your car accident claim would end up at a trial would be if the insurance company for the at-fault driver simply refused to pay a reasonable amount—an amount that would fully cover your medical expenses, lost wages, damages to your car, and any other damages you sustained in the car accident.
Your car accident injury attorney can give you a rough idea of how much your claim is worth but cannot guarantee a specific outcome. The methods used by lawyers include estimating the non-economic and economic losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
Due to the nature of some losses, determining car accident case worth can be difficult to quantify. As an example, it is relatively easy to determine what your medical expenses are, and how much you have lost in wages because you were unable to return to work due to your injuries. Other damages, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to put a number on because they are more subjective.
Special Damages vs. General Damages
The easy-to-quantify damages are known as “special” damages and can be assigned a specific monetary value. These are your out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- All medical expenses, including the ambulance ride and the trip to the ER immediately following the accident. Also included are doctors’ bills, x-rays, lab tests, surgical costs, anesthesia, and prescription medication costs, hospitalization costs, follow-up costs and aftercare, rehabilitative services, assistive devices, and the costs of long-term nursing care when required. If your home requires modifications due to your injuries, these would also be covered under medical expenses. If you are expected to require medical treatments or rehabilitative therapies for a significant time in the future, this would be factored in.
- Lost wages and lost future earnings. Whether you were off work for a week, a month, a year, or are expected to never be able to return to your job because of your injuries, you are entitled to compensation for what you would have earned if you had not been injured.
- Auto damages should be covered in full, to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
General damages are less easy to assign a monetary value to, and can include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
The value of your car accident claim will vary significantly based on whether you are expected to make a full recovery from your injuries, or whether you have suffered a permanent disability or condition. The other driver’s policy limits will also have some bearing on the final settlement. Punitive damages are rare but are in place to cover particularly egregious, malicious, or willful behavior on the part of the other driver. If the other driver is clearly at fault your case is stronger, and if your attorney can fully prove the extent of your damages, your case will also be more likely to have a successful outcome.
Contact Cohen & Malad, LLP Today for Your Car Accident Claim
If you have been injured in an Indiana car accident, it is imperative that you have a strong injury lawyer by your side. At Cohen & Malad, LLP we can help you through this difficult time, answering all your questions thoroughly, and fighting zealously on your behalf. Call Cohen & Malad, LLP, today!