How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

The value of your car accident claim depends on the extent and severity of your injuries. How negligent the responsible party was when they caused your injury can also play a role in its worth.

Although your car accident attorney may start your claim with a certain settlement amount in mind, this number could change as your case progresses. You can better understand how much a car accident claim is worth once you learn about all the factors that can affect your case. Consult with a car accident attorney first.

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Evaluating Your Damages Helps Determine the Worth of Your Car Accident Claim

How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

When you seek compensation after a car accident, you should include all the losses associated with your injuries. Losses you could seek in your car accident claim include:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are damages you can directly document with bills and invoices. They may include lost income, past and future medical bills, and property damage expenses. If your injuries require physical or psychological therapy, you can claim those costs in your car accident injury suit.

When car crash injuries result in long-term disability, you can also claim compensation for assistive devices such as crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. Should your disability requires adjustments to your home or vehicle, such as a wheelchair ramp, you might sue for those costs as well.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are losses that are not clearly documented with bills, invoices, or receipts, as they are intangible. Although it is not easy to establish the value of non-economic damages, you may deserve compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of use, loss of enjoyment, and loss of companionship.

Your personal injury attorney should know how to quantify your non-economic damages, so you can pursue the full value for your losses.

Punitive Damages

After a car accident, some states award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are uncommon but can occur when if the at-fault party’s actions were considered criminally or grossly negligent. While rare, punitive damages aim to punish the at-fault party and discourage them from repeating the dangerous or illegal actions that led to your car accident injury.

Victims injured by a driver who was driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) sometimes receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory economic and non-economic damages. The judge or jury at trial typically awards these damages.

A car accident lawyer familiar with local and state laws can help you determine whether punitive damages could apply in your case.

Wrongful Death Damages

If someone you love passed away in a car accident because of another person’s negligent behavior, you could seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.

At its most basic level, a wrongful death claim or lawsuit allows the spouse, children, parents, or personal representative of the deceased person to recover damages related to the death. Such damages may include funeral costs, burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of advice, and loss of companionship.

Whether you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, an attorney who handles vehicle accident claims can help you seek compensation for the full scope of your damages.

Documenting Evidence Supports the Worth of Your Car Crash Claim

Documentation and other evidence provide the framework to support your car accident case. Without evidence, it is virtually impossible to prove the losses you sustained. It is, therefore, crucial that you and your attorney gather documentation and other proof to substantiate the value of your car crash claim. Evidence you may use for a car accident injury case includes:

Photographic Evidence

Photos of the accident site substantiate your claim. For example, photos of skid marks, vehicle damage, final vehicle resting points, and the area around the accident can help you show who was at fault.

Images of your injuries can also prove the extent and severity of your injuries. They are especially useful with stubborn insurance companies who try to reduce or undermine your claim’s worth.

Video Evidence

Like photo evidence, video evidence provides a firsthand account of the accident. Your attorney may support your car accident claim with video footage from witness cell phones, vehicle dashcams, nearby business CCTV, and traffic cameras in the vicinity. Video evidence provides excellent substantiation for proving fault and establishing the extent of your injuries and losses.

Documents and Written Evidence

Documentary evidence provides official proof and critical details of your car accident case. Medical records and treatment plans show your injuries’ severity and how long it will take to recover. Police records and crash reports can establish facts and show fault, though not all states allow police reports as evidence in car accident claims.

Your own written account of the accident and a journal detailing how your injuries affect your daily life can support your claim. Keep a log of dates and times your injuries prevented you from enjoying activities, working, or doing regular tasks. This type of written documentation can help establish your non-economic losses.

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Documents and Written Evidence

Documentary evidence provides official proof and critical details of your car accident case. Medical records and treatment plans show your injuries’ severity and how long it will take to recover. Police records and crash reports can establish facts and show fault, though not all states allow police reports as evidence in car accident claims.

Your own written account of the accident and a journal detailing how your injuries affect your daily life can support your claim. Keep a log of dates and times your injuries prevented you from enjoying activities, working, or doing regular tasks. This type of written documentation can help establish your non-economic losses.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can fill in any details regarding who was at fault and how the accident occurred. You don’t have to take witness statements at the scene of the accident. Simply collect contact information, and your car accident lawyer can reach out to them for a formal statement.

Medical Expert Testimony

When you file a claim for a car accident injury, you must prove that your injuries led to economic or non-economic losses, and medical and economic expert testimony can provide that evidence.

A medical expert could be your doctor, physical therapist, or another practicing physician. In an affidavit or verbal testimony, the medical expert explains the extent and severity of your injuries, their possible cause, and the treatment plan you must undergo to return to your previous state of health.

If your injuries result in impairment or disability, medical testimony from your doctor can provide the necessary details regarding your ability to work or perform regular activities.

Economic Expert Testimony

An economic expert can provide testimony that supports your claim for lost income and other expenses related to your car accident injuries. Your attorney may ask for reports and analysis of your projected income loss due to the accident, how much your business could have made if your injuries hadn’t affected it, or how much you will need to pay for career rehabilitation following a disabling accident.

Accident Reconstruction Expert

Your car accident attorney may hire a traffic accident reconstruction expert to further establish the cause of your car accident. This type of expert testimony helps the judge and jury visualize the accident more clearly, so they can apportion fault and award damages.

With the right evidence, you can substantiate your claim value and seek maximum compensation for your car accident injuries.

Establishing Liability Affects Your Car Accident Injury Claim’s Worth

To prove the value of your case, you must establish who was responsible for your car accident injuries. In some cases, fault determination is simple. Perhaps the other driver was distracted by a phone call, ran a red light, and struck your car. In that event, you could hold them liable and pursue them for damages stemming from their negligent driving behavior.

Other cases are more complicated. For example, the other party ran a red light and struck your car, but it was because their brakes failed due to a manufacturing defect. Rather than pursuing compensation through the other driver’s insurance, you might seek compensation from the defective brake manufacturer or distributor.

Single versus Multiple Liable Parties in a Car Accident

Sometimes, more than one person or entity is responsible for a car accident. While such cases can be complicated, you could secure a higher settlement. If only one person is liable in a car accident case, you may only seek damages up to their insurance coverage limits and financial capacity. However, you may have grounds to file suit in certain situations.

With multiple at-fault parties, you could sue for greater damages to cover the full extent of your losses, especially if one of the responsible parties was a company, corporation, or other entity.

Who Can I Hold Responsible for My Car Accident?

Parties who could be held liable for your car accident injuries include:

  • One or more drivers
  • The responsible driver’s employer
  • A rideshare company
  • A construction or utility company
  • A local or state entity responsible for road maintenance
  • A manufacturer or distributor of defective vehicles or components
  • A company responsible for vehicle maintenance and repairs

Just as there are many different types of car accidents, there is a wide range of potential responsible parties. It is, therefore, beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney who handles car accident cases in your area. They can help you establish fault and determine how to pursue maximum compensation.

Insurance Coverage, Policies, and Limitations Affect the Worth of Your Car Accident Claim

Your claim value is greatly affected by the policy terms and limits of insurance policies, both yours and the other parties’. Drivers in some states must carry a certain level of motor vehicle liability, personal injury protection (PIP), or uninsured/ underinsured (UM/UMI) motorist coverage. However, even with these requirements, some insurance policies may not cover the full value of your losses following a car accident injury.

That is, insurance companies could underpay or deny valid claims, especially when there are multiple responsible parties involved. An attorney familiar with insurance laws and car accident claims in your state can help you pursue maximum compensation from the appropriate insurance carriers and policies.

Negotiations and Trial Proceedings Can Modify Your Car Accident Claim Value

Once you have established your claim value, submitted your claim to the appropriate parties, and filed a personal injury lawsuit, settlement negotiations can begin. Usually, the insurance company will attempt to reduce your car crash claim’s worth or eliminate it altogether.

They may claim that:

  • Their policy does not cover some or all your damages.
  • There is insufficient evidence to prove fault.
  • There is inadequate evidence to prove economic or non-economic damages.
  • The claim exceeds policy limits.
  • Another party is at fault, and the claim is therefore invalid.

Similarly, if your case goes to trial, the insurance company may try to reduce your claim value by convincing the judge or jury of the above points. If they succeed, the resulting settlement or verdict could be less than you deserve.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Can Influence Your Car Crash Settlement Value

Jeff Morris, Car Accident Attorney
Jeff Morris, Car Accident Attorney

No matter how simple your claim may seem, it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney who takes on car accident cases. They can represent you throughout evidence gathering, settlement negotiation, and trial proceedings.

A car accident attorney provides:

  • Negotiating power and advocacy
  • In-depth knowledge of state and local laws
  • Understanding of case law for accidents like yours
  • History of successful car accident settlements and verdicts
  • More accurate case value estimates
  • Evidence-gathering skills and knowledge
  • Experience handling car accident claims with insurance representatives, attorney firms, and judges in your area
  • Access to critical legal resources, such as case law, medical and economic experts, and accident reconstruction

With an attorney on your side, you have an advocate with your best interests in mind. Contact a law firm in your area to learn how much your car accident claim is worth. Many firms give free case evaluations to potential clients. In addition, they generally work on a no-win, no-fee basis.

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What Our Clients Say

Thank you so much for your advice! I highly recommend him! Mr. Morris was extremely helpful with helping me understand the situation.
What seemed very confusing to me he actually broke everything down so I could understand what everything meant. Thank you so much for your advice! I highly recommend him!

Crissy Blumer

I would highly recommend Morris Law firm. Everything about my experience was easy and stress-free. At a time where I was frazzled and in need, the Morris Law Firm was there for me with answers and direction.
The knowledgeable staff was friendly and helpful. Leigh Anna answered my calls and e-mails promptly and with clear answers. Jeff and his staff were able to help me with all my legal needs.
I appreciate the time and energy that they put towards my case. Anyone looking for legal advise would be well advised to hire The Morris Law firm.

Kylie Reid

I contacted Morris Law after I was injured from a fall at Dollar General. Mr. Morris took my case and immediately began to give the help and guidance I needed. He was able to get me treatments and physical therapy that I would not have been able to get on my own. I was also able to stop working and concentrate on getting my injuries taken care of. We have settled after a long battle and I am pleased with the outcome. I want to thank Mr. Morris and his very capable staff for the great treatment . I recommend Morris Law for your needs.

Vivian Hancheck

I highly recommend Jeff Morris. Him and his team took really good care of me after my car accident. He was very informative of the process and answered all my questions. The whole team is great!

Ashley Killough

My first contact with Jeff Morris after my car accident was outstanding his main concern was getting me the medical treatment I needed, then we would dig deeper into the case. Once the medical was situated I spoke with Spencer is right had women and paralegal where all other aspects of the case were reviewed. Jeff then had the task of dealing with three other insurance company’s which he did with ease and expertise. Throughout the 2+ years of medical treatments I was able to work with Kathy Jeff’s other paralegal, Spencer and Ian another lawyer in the firm and they were all easy to deal with and would always find the answers and get back with me the same day. I’ve dealt with lawyers a few times over the years and can honestly say if all lawyers and there office treated you the way Jeff and his crew did that lawyers would not have the bad reputation they have acquired. I’ve already referred a friend to Jeff for his assistance and will continue to refer any one who needs assistance from a lawyer to contact the only one I’ll ever call again.

Bob Gaffey

Wonderful people. I don’t even know where to begin. From the moment I called to schedule an appointment to our last meeting, Morris Law has been nothing but professional and helpful as I needed help navigating legal matters.

Delora Pitts

Jeff Morris was great to work with. Easy to work with. Made sure I received the best settlement I could get. Thanks Jeff.

John Farber

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At Morris Law Firm, we have provided compassionate and aggressive counsel to personal injury victims in Horry County, Aiken County, and throughout South Carolina since 2016. We are available 24/7/365 days of the year. Reach out and get your case evaluated at no cost.