How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?
In car accidents, many accident victims suffer serious personal injuries, incur high medical costs, and miss time from work. All of these expenses can subsequently take a heavy toll on accident victims and their families.
If you recently suffered injuries in a car crash resulting from some other driver’s negligence, you may recover monetary damages. However, the types and amounts of damages you recover will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, your medical costs, and the circumstances surrounding your accident.
As soon as possible after your car accident, talk with a car accident lawyer in your area as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can explore all of your legal options, file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, and pursue litigation options if necessary. Your lawyer will advocate aggressively for you every step of the way and maximize the total damages you recover for all your car accident losses.
Categories of Car Accidents That May Lead to Debilitating Injuries
When people drive recklessly and carelessly, their chances of causing a traffic accident leading to injuries increase significantly.
Some of the most common types of traffic accidents that may occur when drivers behave recklessly and carelessly include:
- Broadside or T-bone accidents, where the front of one motor vehicle hits the side of another car, such as at a highway merge lane or four-way traffic intersection
- Rear-end accidents, where the front of one vehicle hits the back of another car, such as from unlawfully tailgating
- Sideswipe accidents, where the sides of two vehicles strike one another while traveling forward, usually on a highway or other multi-lane roadway
- Head-on collisions, where the fronts of two vehicles hit one another while traveling in opposite directions, usually on a dual-lane highway or road
If you are a driver or passenger who suffered injuries in one of these accidents, you should immediately get the legal help you need.
Your attorney can explore your legal options with you and determine if you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking monetary recovery. If so, your attorney can work to get you the compensation you need and deserve for your accident-related losses.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen in the First Place?
Car accidents typically result from the negligence of other drivers. When drivers fail to watch the route attentively, exhibit road rage, and drive while under the influence of alcohol, they are more likely to cause severe traffic accidents.
First, some car accidents happen when drivers fail to follow standard traffic laws, especially concerning speed limits. Other common traffic law violations include failing to use turn signals and failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times, such as at a four-way traffic intersection with a stop sign, yield sign, or red traffic light facing the at-fault driver.
In addition to traffic law violations, some car accidents happen when drivers fail to use their mirrors, especially when making turns and switching lanes in heavy traffic. They may also strike another vehicle or pedestrian if they back out of a parking space without checking their mirrors or backup cameras.
Drivers must use all electronic safety devices on their vehicles at the proper times. When they fail to use those devices properly and an accident occurs, you can hold them responsible for the consequences.
Car accidents may also result from road rage or overly aggressive driving. Drivers may become angry when other people drive too slowly. As a result, angered drivers may speed, tailgate other vehicles, aggressively weave in and out of traffic, and fail to use their turn signals when switching lanes on a busy highway. A severe traffic accident may result.
Car accidents may also occur when people drive in a distracted and careless manner. For example, they might listen to loud music, fiddle with a GPS navigation system, or send a text message on a cell phone, diverting their attention away from the road. In these circumstances, a driver may look to the side or look down and fail to see an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, causing a severe crash.
Finally, car accidents can occur when people drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxicated driving prevents a driver from staying attentive and driving safely. Alcohol slows down a driver’s central nervous system and prohibits it from functioning correctly. As a result, the intoxicated driver may experience blurred vision, impaired reflexes, and delayed reaction time. If the driver sees an approaching vehicle, they cannot always stop their own car in time to avoid a crash.
If you or a person you love suffered injuries in a car crash that another driver caused, retain an attorney to represent you in your case as quickly as possible. Your attorney can determine if you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit and, if so, assist you with every step of the process. Your lawyer can also gather the necessary documents to prove your claim and help you negotiate a fair settlement offer with the insurance company adjuster handling your case.
Potential Injuries That May Occur in Car Crashes
Car crash injuries can be severe and may result in high medical bills, painful symptoms, and an inability to work for a significant amount of time, resulting in lost income (or loss of earning capacity). The injuries a car crash victim will suffer typically depend on the type of car accident, the force of the collision, and the accident victim’s bodily movements during the crash.
Some motor vehicle accidents are so severe that they cause a part of the accident victim’s body to strike a part of their vehicle, resulting in serious physical injuries. Those injuries may include broken bones, soft tissue contusions, and traumatic head and brain injuries, like concussions.
Additional injuries that car crash victims may suffer in an accident include internal bleeding, internal organ damage, bruises, open lacerations, spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis.
Depending on the severity of an accident victim’s injuries, ongoing medical treatment may be necessary. For example, the accident victim might need to follow up with a primary care doctor, consult with a specialist, undergo surgery or other medical procedures, and attend ongoing physical therapy appointments or pain management sessions. While some medical treatments may only last for a few weeks, others can go on for months or even years following the car accident.
Following a car crash, accident victims must complete their medical treatment regimen and not discharge themselves early from a medical provider’s care. Instead, they should wait for the medical provider to formally release them from treatment after it is complete.
Completing a medical treatment regimen following a car accident helps to ensure that the accident victim fully recovers from their injuries. It also shows the insurance company they sustained severe injuries that deserve appropriate and reasonable monetary compensation to make the accident victim whole again.
While you complete your medical treatment regimen and focus on getting better, a skilled car accident attorney can start advocating for you. Your lawyer can analyze your circumstances and gather the necessary documents to prove your claim, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, injury photographs, and property damage photographs. Your lawyer can then submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company after you have completed all of your medical treatment.
Pursuing the Monetary Recovery You Deserve for All of Your Injuries
The ultimate goal of any personal injury claim or lawsuit is to recover the highest possible monetary award. Accident victims can pursue favorable settlement compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
However, if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the state court system. Your lawyer can pursue the case through litigation and, if necessary, take it to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding to obtain a favorable monetary award.
The total damages that injured car crash victims may recover will depend upon various factors, including the extent of their injuries, the cost of their medical treatment, and the extent of their physical pain and suffering.
First, accident victims can recover their medical costs for both past and anticipated medical care. They may also claim lost income or loss of earning capacity if their injuries prevent them from working.
In addition, accident victims can obtain financial recovery for their intangible losses, including monetary compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of spousal consortium
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Lifetime care costs
A car crash lawyer in your area will do everything possible to maximize your total monetary damages. You might receive a favorable settlement offer directly from the insurance company, or your lawyer might advise you to initiate litigation in civil court. Most lawsuits still settle during the process before the case goes to trial, but you still need an experienced litigator leading your case.
Contact a Skilled Car Crash Attorney About Your Legal Matter Today
Accident victims have a relatively short time to file a lawsuit following a car crash. Because of the statute of limitations, accident victims have a limited time from their accident date to file suit for monetary compensation stemming from their injuries.
Absent a few exceptional circumstances, if the accident victim does not file their lawsuit within the deadline, they cannot recover monetary damages for their injuries. Therefore, car accident victims must take swift legal action right away to safeguard their right to economic recovery.
Remember that even if your car accident seems simple and straightforward, insurance companies are for-profit entities that will use any reason they can find to not give you the compensation you deserve. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Orange County can work to maximize your total damages, either by negotiating a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or pursuing a favorable result in mediation or litigation.
Most of all, the right car accident attorney will relieve your stress about how you will cover your medical bills and other losses. Then you can rest assured a trusted professional will fight for your interests.