If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be wondering about the potential settlement value of your claim. However, compensation amounts can vary widely depending on each person’s individual circumstances and the specific details of the crash.
While average settlement figures can provide a general idea, there is no single standardized amount awarded in motor vehicle cases. The type and severity of injuries, lost wages, medical bills incurred, and long-term effects can all determine appropriate settlements.
We’ll also look at how liability is assessed to establish negligence. While each claim is unique, reviewing average payout ranges for different scenarios can give you a starting point to understand what a fair settlement may entail. Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers will discuss some key considerations influencing car accident settlement claims.
Many Factors Can Influence Your Auto Accident Claim
Determining appropriate compensation for injuries suffered in a vehicle collision involves consideration of many interrelated factors. The severity of harm, extent of economic impacts, and assignation of liability all combine to establish a settlement range.
This section analyzes the key elements that influence settlement value when resolving accident claims without litigation. Understanding how injuries, losses, medical costs, and negligence attributions contribute to negotiations can empower you to make informed decisions regarding your options for recovery.
Here is how each component plays a role.
Injury Severity and Long-Term Impacts
The seriousness of injuries directly correlates with settlement value. More compensation is needed to address severe, permanent conditions. Your car accident lawyer can help ensure you get the proper medical treatment to address these injuries and will make a thorough accounting of the associated current and ongoing medical costs.
Nature of Injuries
Traumatic injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and severe lacerations that result in scarring elevate payouts. Severe injuries requiring lengthy hospitalization or multiple surgeries warrant high settlements due to extensive treatment needs.
Injuries leaving permanent functional deficits receive larger settlements. Conditions causing chronic pain and physical limitations impact the quality of life and require lifelong care, justifying greater damages. Future lost wages from permanent disability also increase claim value.
Economic damages reimburse victims for financial burdens caused by injuries. Wage losses due to the treatment and ongoing care of your injuries should be fully repaid.
Present and Future Lost Income
Significant present and foreseeable future lost wages due to injuries lower a person’s lifetime earning capacity, so compensation aims to offset this impact. Your auto accident lawyer can work with specialists and economists to help determine accurate amounts.
Medical Bills and Expenses
All past medical costs for treatment received as of settlement, plus anticipated future costs of follow-up care, medications, appliances, and therapy, should be considered.
Liability and Negligence Factors
Establishing fault for the accident and any applicable contributory negligence is important for determining settlement value.
Responsible Party’s Insurance Limits
The at-fault driver or entity’s auto insurance policy generally dictates the maximum they can pay in damages. Higher levels of coverage allow for larger potential payouts. If assets are insufficient to justify litigating above the insurance amount, this can limit settlement negotiations. However, a personal injury lawyer can advise you of the best action to secure the maximum compensation possible in your specific case.
If some negligence is attributable to the injured party, their percentage of fault reduces the total damages amount they can recover. Indiana, like many other states, follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, where any degree of fault attributed to the injured claimant reduces their potential damages recovery in proportion to their percentage of negligence.
For example, if an investigation finds the injured party was 20% at fault for the accident due to behaviors like speeding or distracted driving, while the other driver was 80% at fault for the direct causes like running a red light, the injured person’s total damages will be reduced by 20%.
This means that if a jury or settlement determines the full value of damages is $100,000, the claimant who was 20% at fault can only recover 80% of that amount from the other party/insurance. So, in this scenario, the maximum settlement would be $80,000.
This approach can significantly impact settlement values if the claimant is found partially accountable for the crash. Your attorney can work to defend you against allegations of liability in your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm to Learn More About Your Settlement Amount
While average settlement amounts provide a general framework, personal injury compensation is ultimately determined on a case-by-case basis considering an individual’s specific injuries, treatment needs, economic losses, and liability considerations.
An experienced car accident attorney with Vaughan & Vaughan can carefully evaluate all relevant factors related to your situation to understand the full value of your claim and negotiate the maximum settlement you deserve.
We will handle all communication with insurance adjusters, assemble supporting documentation, and, if needed, advocate for you in court to pursue the full extent of damages. Don’t attempt to navigate this complex process alone – let an attorney advocate on your behalf. Contact us today.