How Much Is Your Car Accident Case Worth?
Car accident lawyers at the Salamati Law Firm can help you receive fair car accident compensation when other parties try to offer a low-ball settlement or confuse the issue with a “he said / she said” account of what happened. We have obtained jury awards and settlements for our car accident clients ranging from $100,000 to well over a million, depending on a number of factors.
Car accidents are among the most disturbing events to occur in a person’s life. Often there is a trip to the hospital and medical bills for physical injuries. One’s mode of transportation requires a trip to the repair shop, too. But perhaps the worst injuries are not seen – the pain of loss when a loved one dies, the loss of enjoyment in life after a person becomes disabled, the anxiety and stress of getting into a car again, the emotional suffering of coping with the day-to-day struggles of a serious injury. These losses can and should be compensated.
Car accident injury claim: how much is it worth?
Personal injury lawsuits commonly include the following claims:
- Medical expenses – Car accident injuries range from broken bones and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and paralysis. The symptoms may be evident immediately or they may take days, weeks, or months to manifest. Your claim may include ambulance fees, hospital stay costs, accessories like crutches or heating pads, healthcare consultations, physical and cognitive therapies, in-home medical services, and even the cost of retrofitting your home to accommodate a disability.
- Pain and suffering – Scars from a traumatic event are not always visible. In most states, you may seek retribution for mental distress like anxiety, loss of enjoyment in life, stress, psychological damage, and suffering associated with a bodily injury.
- Lost income – Injuries often harm victims financially, as they are forced to take unpaid leave from work while rehabilitating, work reduced hours while attending physical therapy sessions, or miss time while staying in the hospital. Sometimes the primary breadwinner is forced to quit working because the injuries sustained are so severe. Plaintiffs may sue for lost income now, diminished earning capacity, and loss of future wages.
- Loss of companionship – A claimant is not always the physically injured party. Legal spouses of injured victims can claim that the accidents have deprived them of affection, sexual activity (legally referred to as “consortium”), and companionship. “Loss of guidance and support” apply to children of the injured party if the car accident victim dies.
- Funeral expenses – The median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial is just over $7,000, according to the National Funeral Directors’ Association. Expenses include: body pickup and preparation, funeral director and staff costs, casket, tombstone, and more. The $7,000 ballpark figure does not include the cost of the burial plot or cemetery internment fees, which can add several thousand more dollars to the total. Lawsuit plaintiffs may, in some cases, seek damages to cover these expenses when a loved one has died.
Whiplash injury compensation
According to analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, there are over 800,000 “whiplash” injuries per year in America, costing over $9 billion in economic and quality of life expenses. More often, we refer to these types of injuries as “neck sprains” or “soft tissue injuries” to overcome a negative denotation of fraudulent or feigned injury associated with the word “whiplash.” You can still sue for soft tissue injuries, neck and back sprains, and nerve damage resulting from your car accident.
Generally speaking, jury awards and settlements for whiplash can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, so it pays to have an attorney in your corner to be sure you are offered a fair amount for your injuries.
What is the average value of a car accident settlement?
The amount of compensation offered in an auto accident settlement depends upon factors such as:
- The extent of your injuries, as documented by your physician
- Whether the injuries are temporary or permanent
- The course of your treatment and how many medical providers are involved
- Your pain symptoms and the prospects for your recovery
- The impact on your work, daily activities, sports played, and hobbies
- Whether you were partially at fault for the crash
- The clarity of the argument proving the other party’s fault for the crash.
We can point to several recent settlements and jury awards to give you an idea of what compensation is possible:
- $100,000 trial verdict to win seven times’ the amount the other driver’s insurance was willing to pay.
- $410,000 settlement for the loss of independence our elderly client suffered after being t-boned.
- $450,000 settlement when an LAX airport shuttle driver ran a red light and hit our client.
- $450,000 settlement to compensate for a fractured neck injury when our client was rear-ended by a truck.
- $1.2 million for a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury and permanent disability.
Car accident insurance: what does it cover?
Your own car accident insurance will cover the cost of vehicle repair or total loss replacement as long as you pay for collision insurance. You will have to pay the deductible unless you receive a settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company. In some cases, the other driver’s insurance can also cover lost wages or fair market value for your vehicle – with limits.
California is a tort state, meaning that someone must be proven “at fault” for the accident – and that person’s insurance will pay for the injuries sustained. Of course, most auto insurance policies in California have limits on what they will cover. We have had clients with tens of thousands in medical bills being offered a maximum of $15,000 from the other drivers’ insurance companies, so it’s important in these instances to pursue just compensation with the help of an experienced legal team.
Auto accident compensation lawyer Los Angeles
Even though you pay a small predetermined legal fee for an attorney’s services out of the compensation won, you will still walk away with more money than you would receive trying to go it alone. Defendants in these cases often come fully prepared to fight or offer a lowball settlement and you will need extensive documentation and expert testimony to prove the validity of your claim. You only owe us money if we take your case and win, so there is nothing to lose in calling 800-957-9898 to explore your legal options with an experienced car crash lawyer.
Compensation for car accident: resources
- NFDA – Median Cost of Adult Funeral http://www.nfda.org/news/statistics
- Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine – Minor Crashes and ‘Whiplash’ in the United States http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256773/
- Insure.com – Third Party Accident http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/third-party-accident.html