How is a Car Accident Settlement Determined?

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s extremely common for people to have questions about what to do next. But when injuries or deaths are involved, the more questions people have. Deaths and Injuries inevitably make car accident cases more complicated and, on top of dealing with an already difficult situation, accident victims may have insurance companies pressuring them to settle as quickly as possible. But just because an insurance company is offering you a settlement, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be enough to cover all of your damages. Remember, insurance companies want you to settle for as little money as possible. 

One of the most common questions people have about car accident injuries is about how much their case is worth. But that’s a question that doesn’t come with a simple, cut-and-dry answer. Every accident is unique and car accident settlements can depend on several different things. So, how is a car accident settlement determined? Here are a few of the biggest factors involved. 

The Extent of Your Injuries

Car accidents can cause many different types of injuries and while they can all have serious impacts on your life, some injuries may have effects that last longer than others. For example, if a car accident causes a broken bone and that bone is able to fully heal over time with proper treatment, the settlement would likely be lower than one for an accident that caused permanent paralysis because there would be a larger amount of future medical and other care expenses to account for.

Lost Income

If you’ve been injured, there’s a good chance you will need to take some time off from work while you recover. Depending on your specific injuries and the severity of those injuries, you could be unable to work for a matter of days, weeks, months, or even years. But even being out of work for a little while can place a major financial burden on individuals and their families, so it’s important to make sure you aren’t being shortchanged on these damages.

Pain and Suffering

Not all types of damages are tied to a tangible amount of money, like medical bills or lost income. Car accident victims are often eligible for pain and suffering damages, but there isn’t a hard and fast way of calculating those types of damages. Pain and suffering damages are generally tied to the severity of a person’s injuries. For example, if a person has injuries that require a long stay in the hospital and causes effects that will last for the rest of their life, their pain and suffering damages would be higher than they would for someone with less severe injuries. 

Loss of Consortium

When car accidents result in death, the victim’s surviving spouse or other close family members may be entitled to loss of consortium damages. Loss of consortium damages are intended to help compensate people for the loss of personal companionship caused by the loss.

The Other Party’s Insurance

Insurance policies have a cap on benefits which may affect the amount of a settlement being offered. An insurance company won’t offer a settlement for an amount larger than a policy limit, so if your total damages exceed that amount, it’s very important to get the help of a lawyer so that you can hold the appropriate party liable for those additional damages. 

Need More Help With Your California Car Accident Claim?

These are just a few of the biggest factors that influence a car accident claim. Since car accident settlements involve so many different factors, the best way to get an idea of how much your case is worth is by talking to a car accident lawyer. At The Wallace Firm, you’ll be able to work with a lawyer experienced in handling California car accident cases and helping accident victims get the help they need. Contact us today to get started.