How much you should settle for after a car accident depends on your losses and the part you played in the accident.
Types of Losses
Generally, you might be entitled to recover compensation for the following losses:
- Past and future medical expenses: These can include hospital stays, doctors’ visits, emergency transportation costs, healthcare expenses, prescription medication costs, surgery bills, and any other expenses related to treatment for your injuries.
- Lost wages: If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you might be able to recover damages for the wages you lost. This can account for your future loss of earning capacity as well.
- Property damage costs: You could also recover compensation for the damage to your vehicle.
- Past and future pain and suffering: Sustaining injuries in a car accident can leave you with tangible losses, but it can also take a toll on your mental health. You can recover compensation for your past and future pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and more.
- Future loss of earning capacity. Your injuries may place limitations on your ability to continue working in your current field. If so, your earning capacity could be harmed. You may be able to request compensation for the future loss of your earning capability if your injuries forced you to take a lower-paying job.
A lawyer can help you determine what you can recover from the negligent party in a personal injury claim.
Your Settlement Should Account for Your Negligence
While some states bar you from recovering damages if you were even partially responsible for the accident, many will allow you to seek compensation even if you had some fault for the accident. This doctrine is called comparative negligence, per the Legal Information Institute (LII).
For example, if you were speeding during the accident, you might be 10% at fault for the collision. In that case, you might still be able to recover 90% of your losses.
Again, a lawyer can help you determine your percentage of fault and dispute any claims that you were more at fault than you actually were.
A Lawyer Can Tell You What to Settle for After a Car Accident
It might seem tempting to accept the first settlement offer in your car accident claim, as you most likely have urgent bills and mounting debt from your treatment. However, if an insurance company offers you a settlement, they might be lowballing you.
Having a car accident lawyer on your side can help ensure that you are getting what you are entitled to (or close to it). They might be able to determine whether a settlement offer is good enough to compensate you for your losses, and they’ll typically recommend that you either take the settlement or keep negotiating.
Most civil cases settle through negotiations. According to the American Judges Association (AJA), up to 97% of civil cases are resolved outside of a trial. However, on the off chance that a car accident lawyer cannot settle outside of court, they can also take your personal injury claim to trial to fight for a judgment in your favor.
While your lawyer will offer you advice, it will ultimately be your decision on how much you should settle for after a car accident.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer?
At Bernstein & Poisson, our car accident lawyers help personal injury victims fight for compensation. If you were in a car accident, a lawyer from our firm could tell you how much you are entitled to for your injuries and losses.
The personal injury attorneys at our firm work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you will not owe our lawyers anything upfront or out of pocket. We only collect our payment as a percentage of the settlement or judgment we win in your favor. We want to go to work for you to help get you compensated for your losses.
We can recover the evidence needed to show what the negligent party owes you, negotiate for you, and, if needed, take your case to trial. Jack Bernstein and Scott Poisson have been protecting personal injury victims’ rights together since 1997, and we want to protect your rights, too.
Call Bernstein & Poisson for a Free Consultation
Contact an attorney at the Bernstein & Poisson team at (702) 633-3333 today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.