When someone gets into a car accident, they could recover compensation for their losses if they can prove the liable party caused their injuries. Many people ask how much to expect from a car accident settlement. Unfortunately, however, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding how much someone could recover after a car accident.
The amount someone could recover varies based on different factors. This includes your recoverable damages. Once you determine the worth of your recoverable damages, you can better understand how much compensation you could expect. Usually, car accident attorneys can help you determine how much you can seek. Then, they can help you go after the best possible results through a claim or lawsuit.
What Are Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident?
Recoverable damages refer to the amount of money the court requires someone to pay for causing someone else’s injuries. For example, after a car accident, the amount of compensation someone could recover often depends on the severity of the injuries. A person with severe injuries that could affect them for the rest of their life could get more than someone with minor injuries. The goal is to recover compensation for all your losses.
The types of compensation someone could recover include economic and non-economic damages. Often, the more serious your injuries, the more you could seek in economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to measurable losses. These compensate the person who sustained injuries for their actual monetary losses. Therefore, you could recover any out-of-pocket expenses you had to pay for your injuries through economic damages.
Types of economic damages you could recover after facing injuries in a car accident could include:
- The amount you had to pay towards medical expenses. Medical care can get costly, depending on the severity of the injuries. You could recover compensation for the costs of any emergency room care, surgeries, hospitalizations, diagnostic tests, medications, or ongoing doctor’s appointments.
- The projected costs of future medical care. If the injuries you sustained in the car accident appear to require medical care far into the future, you could receive compensation for future medical care costs. After settling the case, you could receive this compensation if a doctor states the injuries will require medical care.
- The amount of income you lost. If your injuries prove severe enough, you might have to miss work for some time. If this happened, you could recover compensation for the income you lost.
- The projected future income you could lose. If your injuries prove so severe that a doctor states you cannot work in the same capacity, you could recover compensation for your future lost income. Within future lost income, you could also recover lost benefits, such as healthcare and retirement benefits.
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle. If someone else caused the car accident and the vehicle sustained damage, you could recover whatever the insurance didn’t cover through a car accident claim or lawsuit.
Economic damages often prove more straightforward to determine because you typically have receipts showing how much you had to pay out of pocket.
Non-economic damages refer to subjective and unquantifiable non-monetary losses. They aim to pay someone back for their incurred physical and emotional losses.
For example, types of non-economic damages you could recover after a car accident include:
- The emotional stress you now have to deal with. Car accidents and the injuries associated with them can cause negative psychological responses. Some of these negative emotional issues could include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, sleeping issues, and in severe cases, depression.
- The physical pain you endured because of your injuries. Physical pain could refer to physical challenges you face directly after the accident or ongoing pain.
- The loss of enjoyment of life you endured after the accident. If you can no longer participate in activities you once loved, you could recover compensation for losing the ability to play sports or do hobbies you enjoyed before the accident.
Non-economic damages often prove more difficult to calculate since they are subjective, and no receipt can indicate their value. Usually, an attorney can help to calculate the value of your non-economic damages.
An Attorney Can Help You Determine the Value of a Car Accident Case
An attorney could provide more information if you’re struggling to figure out how much to expect from a car accident settlement. Many personal injury attorneys have handled similar cases and understand how to calculate damages. Once they calculate the damages, they can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Having someone with negotiation experience can help you recover the maximum compensation available.
Attorneys can also help to ensure you don’t miss important timelines. Each state has a statute of limitations. This gives an amount of time someone has to file a lawsuit. For example, South Carolina law gives three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the liable party. After the statute of limitations deadline passes, you may not have the ability to recover compensation from the accident.
Other Ways a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Seek a Fair Settlement
Unfortunately, even if you have a relatively straightforward car accident case, you may face challenges getting the settlement you deserve. Insurance companies may want to limit your payout to protect their bottom line. You may need to gather extensive evidence to show that you truly face serious injuries and that the other driver was responsible. Insurers may drag out the claims process.
Any number of challenges could get in the way of you receiving the compensation you need and deserve. That’s where a lawyer’s help can prove crucial.
A car accident lawyer can handle every detail of your case, including:
- Investigating the cause of the accident and building strong evidence of liability
- Gathering evidence of your injuries, such as medical records, doctors’ statements, and more
- Communicating with all third parties in the case for you
- Advising you on whether an insurance adjuster’s offer is fair
- Negotiating the best possible settlement amount
- Filing a lawsuit if the other party won’t cooperate with the settlement process
- Use local and state laws to your advantage in the case
- Explaining your legal options throughout the process
Plus, if you’re in serious pain after a crash, you likely don’t want to deal with the challenges of a car accident case. An attorney can take care of your claim or lawsuit so that you can focus on your recovery.
Showing the At-Fault Party Caused the Crash Can Be Key to Getting a Settlement
Car accidents happen across the United States for a variety of reasons, including driver error. Accidents can happen when someone drives negligently and doesn’t care for others on the road. Knowing a car accident’s cause generally proves essential as it can determine liability for a crash. As mentioned, a lawyer can build evidence to show how the accident happened and who bears liability.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include distracted driving, driving under the influence, driver fatigue, and reckless driving. If someone caused an accident for these reasons, the injured party could file a claim or lawsuit against them to recover compensation for their injuries.
You can and should hold someone accountable for causing a preventable crash. If the following forms of negligence caused your accident, you could seek compensation.
Distracted driving refers to when a driver participates in any activity that takes their full attention off of the road. Texting and driving commonly cause a distraction for drivers across the United States. Any activity that takes someone’s eyes off the road can cause a car accident.
Other common distractions that could cause car accidents could include:
- Eating or drinking
- Tending to children or animals
- Manipulating the stereo or a navigation system
If someone causes an accident and you can show that the accident occurred because of distracted driving, you can hold them liable for your injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 32 people die from drunk driving every day in car accidents. Alcohol and drugs impair the brain’s ability to function correctly.
The effects of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.02 could cause the driver to lose their judgment, multi-tasking ability, and visual acuity. This shows that even a small amount of alcohol can impair someone’s ability to drive appropriately. If someone causes an accident because they drive while intoxicated, they could face a civil lawsuit and criminal charges.
Driving while fatigued can have devastating consequences. People who drive while fatigued can have the same impairments as those driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other effects fatigued driving has on drivers include impaired cognition and performance.
Drowsy driving can cause someone to have slowed movement, an inability to focus or pay attention, and other dangerous cognitive and physical limitations. All of these can have a significant effect on someone’s driving ability. If someone causes an accident because they are driving while drowsy, the injured person could file a claim or lawsuit against them to recover compensation.
Driving recklessly can take many different forms. However, reckless driving commonly occurs when someone drives in a way that doesn’t show care for others on the road.
Common examples of reckless driving could include:
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Weaving in and out of traffic while driving on a two-lane road or highway
- Driving on walking paths, sidewalks, or the shoulder of the road to get around traffic
- Tailgating other drivers and failing to keep a safe following distance
- Excessive speeding for a long stretch of the road
People who engage in reckless driving could face severe punishments if they cause a car accident. Someone who sustained an injury in these accidents could file a claim or lawsuit against the liable party. If you can prove that reckless driving caused the accident, the other driver could have to pay to compensate you so you can take care of your injuries.
An Attorney Can Determine How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement
After getting into a car accident, the last thing someone wants to have to deal with is trying to figure out how much compensation to fight for. With a car accident attorney’s help, injured victims can ensure they seek the maximum amount of compensation for their injuries. A personal injury lawyer can fight for the compensation that covers all your losses.
An attorney can retrieve evidence to determine what amount you could seek after a crash. Contact Myrtle Beach injury law firms that offer free consultations. During the consultation, you can determine if a law firm is the right fit.