There are very few life events as stressful as a car accident. While moving, wedding planning and divorce might rank high on the list of demanding affairs, collisions have a unique way of upending an otherwise peaceful life. The stress doesn’t end when you leave the site of the accident, either. Injuries, legal battles, and negotiations with the insurance company can plague accident victims for weeks and months after the incident. Understandably, many people involved in a car crash find themselves asking: is an accident settlement worth all the stress?
While it may be tempting to shrug off damages and put the whole incident behind you, it’s worth doing some research to understand the value of a car accident settlement. Collisions can cause expensive damage: medical bills, car repairs, and an increased insurance premium are just the beginning. This can be tough to swallow, especially if your crash was the result of another driver’s negligence. To understand whether or not a car accident settlement is worth it, it helps to look at how they are calculated.
Calculating Accident Settlements
Believe it or not, the insurance industry does not have a standard formula for calculating the exact value of an accident settlement. Two identical accidents can have very different settlements – the figure depends largely on the negotiations done by the insurance adjuster and the injured party. Of course, there’s no such thing as two identical accidents, so it helps to understand the factors that contribute to the settlement calculations.
For starters, if you only sustained damage to your vehicle, you’ll be reimbursed for repairs based on the policy limits of the at-fault driver. Money to cover pain and suffering is only available to those who have been injured in the wreck. It’s important to get checked out by a doctor immediately after an accident, even if you don’t feel injured. Many of the most common car accident injuries don’t show symptoms right away, especially if your adrenaline is pumping. A doctor can help identify any cause for concern and document the injuries accordingly.
Lost wages can also be covered in a car accident settlement. If you had to miss work because of your involvement in the wreck, you can be reimbursed for the pay you lost out on while recovering. Adding up the lost income, medical costs and car repairs can help give you an idea of the value of your car accident settlement. Online tools, like our accident settlement calculator, can help you understand just how much you’re likely to net from the insurance company after a crash.
Permanent, Catastrophic Damage
In some cases, accidents leave victims with catastrophic injuries that forever change their way of life. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious injuries can limit a person’s ability to work, earn a living, and pay bills. In such cases, a car accident settlement is definitely worth pursuing. A personal injury lawyer can help you tally up the expenses associated with future care and loss of career opportunities. The non-monetary costs, like missing out on the chance to throw a ball in the park with your child or have intimate relationships can also be included in a settlement.
These kinds of loss of life enjoyment damages cannot be made up for in dollars. No amount of money can undo the damage. A settlement can, however, give accident victims the best chance possible to enjoy life to its full extent moving forward. It’s best to work with a lawyer in such cases – they’ll know the right amount to ask for and how best to negotiate terms. Should the insurance company not offer you a fair settlement, a lawyer can escalate your claim and file a lawsuit if necessary.
The Justice You Deserve
Rather than chalking the accident up to bad luck, schedule an appointment with an experienced car crash lawyer. Most offer a free initial consultation appointment where they’ll give you an idea of how they would represent you. These consultations can provide insight into the value of your case. Don’t have the cash to hire an attorney? Don’t worry: most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. They won’t take any money from you unless they recover compensation on your behalf. Make sure you understand the fee structure before committing to working with a lawyer.
Besides the monetary benefits associated with pursuing compensation after an accident, the opportunity for justice may appeal. Holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions can bring settlement money, but it can also restore a victim’s sense of control over a frustrating situation. Seeing the other driver and their insurance company take ownership of the crash can be incredibly healing. Pursuing legal action can provide a sense of closure for everyone involved.
Need help finding a lawyer in your area? We can help. Check out our car accident claim calculator to get started, or simply dial 877-810-4067 to connect with an experienced attorney now.