How Much Is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?

The value of a car accident claim depends on numerous factors unique to the crash. Every case differs, so you need a skilled attorney to handle the process of securing compensation for you.

Here’s an overview of what goes into determining the value of a car accident claim and why the most reliable way to maximize the value of your compensation is to hire a New York car accident lawyer today.

Your Rights After a Car Accident

Victims of car accidents have the right to receive compensation for their losses from at-fault parties and insurance companies. You can hold numerous individuals, businesses, or entities liable for your losses after a crash, and you may claim compensation for a broad range of physical, emotional, and financial damages.

Who Is Liable?

Anyone whose careless, reckless, or intentional conduct caused a car accident could owe you compensation for the losses you suffered. In many car accident cases, multiple parties share that liability. You can pursue compensation from all of them you don’t have to pick just one.

Every car accident case is unique, but parties commonly liable for a crash include:

  • A careless driver who crashed while speeding, driving distracted, or engaging in some other dangerous behavior behind the wheel.
  • The employer of an at-fault driver who crashed a work vehicle.
  • The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle part.
  • A government agency or private road owner at fault for creating dangerous road conditions resulting in the crash.

These are just a few examples of who may be accountable for your car accident. Liability for a crash may vary depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident. To find out who might owe you damages for your accident-related losses, contact a lawyer today.

Compensation You Can Claim

As the victim of a car accident, you typically have a right to claim compensation from the liable parties and their insurance companies. This payment can cover various damages—far more than most people realize.

Every crash differs, but as an accident victim, you could recover payments for your:

  • Medical bills past, ongoing, and future.
  • Loss of income and job benefits.
  • Property damage.
  • Physical pain.
  • Emotional suffering.
  • Diminished quality of life and personal relationships.
  • Loss of independence and daily inconvenience.
  • Scarring, disfigurement, and loss of bodily function.

You may also request punitive damages, which punish an at-fault party’s extreme or outrageous actions and deter similar misconduct by others. Talk to a lawyer today about the specific categories of compensation you can claim after getting hurt in a car accident.

How the Severity and Consequences of Your Injuries Determine Damages

Experience Lawyer for Car AccidentYour specific injuries and their influence on your life set the baseline for the damages you can claim after a car accident. More severe trauma generally results in a higher compensation claim.

Medical expenses, for example, tend to rise in proportion to the severity of an injury, as more serious injuries may require extensive treatments, lengthy recovery periods, and significant long-term care needs.

Severe trauma is also more likely to keep you out of work for extended periods or leave you with permanent disabilities and incapable of earning a living.

It also goes without saying that major injuries cause significant physical pain and discomfort that disrupt your everyday life. They often inflict ongoing emotional trauma from which crash victims like you may struggle to recover. These non-economic damages deserve as much compensation as the financial losses comprising out-of-pocket expenses and lost earnings.

This does not mean that victims who suffer less serious injuries in a car accident get off easy. Even minor trauma can inflict major devastation on a person’s life. Any car accident injury can have lasting effects that undermine a person’s quality of life. It may cause chronic pain or psychological issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, for example.

A car accident injury lawyer investigates and evaluates the scope of harm a crash victim suffered. An attorney can collect documentation of your financial damages and work closely with you and your loved ones to understand the intangible losses your pain and suffering caused.

After assessing those factors and considering any additional compensation you may have the right to claim, such as punitive damages, a lawyer calculates an amount that would offer fair and just payment. This figure represents the maximum potential value of your car accident claim.

Factors That Influence Your Car Accident Claim Value

The baseline maximum value is not necessarily the amount you can realistically expect to receive when a settlement, court judgment, or jury award resolves your claim. Evaluating a car accident claim also involves considering various factors influencing the likelihood of maximum recovery. Here’s an overview of some of the most significant elements:

Volume and Strength of Evidence

Strong and persuasive evidence is key in establishing the liability of the at-fault party and the extent of your damages—and, consequently, the value of your claim. Critical evidence could come from various sources, including witnesses, medical records, photos and videos of the accident scene, and expert opinions.

The more voluminous and compelling your evidence is, the stronger your claim becomes and the higher the probability of achieving an outcome at or near your maximum damages. When a case lacks significant evidentiary support, however, its value shrinks to reflect a lower probability of success.

Disputes Over Liability and Damages

Disputes about fault for the accident or over the type and severity of damages may occur. These disagreements can affect the value of your claim because they weigh on the chances of winning your case in court, if that becomes necessary. When legitimate, good faith disagreements exist between the parties on fundamental facts or the application of legal principles, the value of a claim does not reflect the potential uncertainty about how a judge or jury might resolve them.

Claims tend to hold their value, however, when everyone parties, lawyers, and insurers primarily agree on what happened, who’s to blame, and how much the injured crash victim should receive.

Skill and Reputation of Your Lawyer

The skill and reputation of your lawyer can significantly influence your claim’s value. Hiring an experienced lawyer with a strong track record of successful car accident claims will likely protect the value of your claim.

Defense lawyers and insurance companies tend to take your claim seriously when you have a highly regarded attorney advocating for you, as do judges and juries. Your lawyer’s reputation as an excellent trial lawyer with a track record of successful cases can incentivize your opponents to value your claim highly and offer a full, fair settlement.

Retaining an attorney with minimal relevant experience or a substandard reputation may lead to your opponents taking your claim less seriously, lowering its potential value. That’s why it’s crucial to select a lawyer with years of experience winning cases like yours in the courts where you will file your claim.

Liable Parties and Their Financial Resources

The number of liable parties and their respective financial resources can influence your claim’s value. You can generally claim compensation from every party legally responsible for your accident—and their insurers. Each is a potential source of funds to pay for your losses. That’s why an experienced car accident injury lawyer investigates claims thoroughly to identify every party with potential liability. The more of them, the better.

Liable parties are only worth what they can pay, however, which is why lawyers also closely evaluate each one’s financial resources. Parties liable for a car accident may carry insurance coverage to pay at least some of what they must pay you, but they are also responsible for any amount insurance does not cover. A lawyer may, therefore, research whether liable parties have assets such as cash, property, or stocks—that you could pursue to satisfy their debt.

How to Protect or Increase the Value of Your Claim

You have a role to play in protecting or enhancing the value of your car accident claim. Follow these tips to ensure that nothing you do inadvertently undermines the amount you can seek as compensation for your losses:

Take Care of Yourself

Your health is your wealth, quite literally, in the case of a car accident claim. Getting immediate medical help is essential for your well-being and for establishing the significance of your injuries. Attending all follow-up medical appointments, doing physical therapy, taking medication, and avoiding activities according to your doctor’s directions are equally as important.

Your care and rehabilitation records will often serve as crucial evidence in proving your claim for damages. Any gap or deficiency in those records resulting from your failure to take care of yourself can drastically undermine the value of your claim because insurance companies and defense lawyers will use it to blame you for losses.

Do Not Jump at Quick Settlement Offers

An insurance company representing an at-fault party may offer you a quick settlement of your claim. Beware of accepting it. What may seem like fast, easy money likely falls well below the amount you deserve to receive, and it may come with significant consequences.

Accepting any settlement offer from an insurer requires you to sign away your rights to pursue them and their policyholder for additional compensation, meaning a settlement is a one-shot deal. If you accept too little, you can’t go back for more later, and you may end up without the financial support you need to pay for your care and rebuild from your trauma.

A safe and effective way to protect the value of your claim if you receive a settlement offer from a liability insurance company is to connect with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer can typically handle negotiations with the insurer on your behalf and get you more than they initially put on the table. They can also protect you from making mistakes that could undermine the value of your claim.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Immediately

The value of your claim can often depend on you hiring an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you have a skilled attorney in your corner advocating for you, the lower the risk that you’ll make a costly mistake, such as missing a statute of limitations deadline or saying the wrong thing to an insurance company, and the greater the opportunity the lawyer will have to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

Hiring a lawyer for your car accident case is usually affordable, as most offer free consultations to crash victims. You can learn about your rights and options without spending a penny. Lawyers also represent car accident clients on contingency. That means you only have to pay them if they get you results.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today

The value of your car accident claim depends on numerous factors. One way you can protect how much it’s worth is to hire a skilled car accident lawyer to handle your case.

If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in New York today for a free consultation about your rights and options.

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