How Car Accident Settlements Are Calculated

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By Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.Article

In the aftermath of a car accident, victims often have many questions about the nature and amount of the compensation that they may receive. Understanding how settlements are determined can be crucial in ensuring that you receive a settlement that fairly represents the amount that you are owed. For assistance in determining the full and fair amount of compensation that you deserve, contact a car accident lawyer today.

How Is The Amount Of Compensation Determined?

The amount of a car accident settlement is primarily determined by the damages sustained. These damages can be both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The severity of injuries, the impact on your daily life, and the fault determined in the accident all play critical roles in the final settlement figure.

What Role Does Fault Play In A Settlement?

In car accident cases, the degree of fault is a crucial factor. Most states adhere to a comparative fault rule, meaning that if you are partially at fault for the accident, your settlement may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault and the total damages amount to $100,000, your settlement could be reduced to $70,000. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the laws pertaining to fault in your case and assist in proving fault on the part of the negligent party.

Can Future Expenses Be Included In A Settlement?

Yes, future expenses can and often are included in a car accident settlement. This is particularly important if injuries are severe and lead to long-term or permanent disability. Future medical expenses, future loss of earnings, and costs for ongoing rehabilitation or care should be accurately calculated and included. Proving these amounts typically requires specialist testimony and detailed documentation.

How Are Pain And Suffering Calculated In A Settlement?

Calculating pain and suffering is more subjective than calculating economic damages and often depends on the specifics of each case. Generally, insurers use a multiplier method or a per diem (daily rate) method. The multiplier method involves assigning a number (usually between 1.5 and 5) to the total economic damages, based on the severity of the injuries. The per diem method assigns a daily rate to your pain and suffering from the date of the accident until you reach maximum medical improvement.

What Should I Do If I Receive A Settlement Offer?

If you receive a settlement offer, it is crucial not to accept it immediately without consulting an attorney. Early offers are typically lower than what you might be entitled to, especially before the full extent of your injuries is known. Attorneys like those at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. always recommend having an offer reviewed before accepting it. An experienced lawyer can review the offer, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and help ensure that the settlement reflects the true value of your claim.

Contact An Experienced Lawyer Today

Calculating a car accident settlement involves various factors, including assessing the damages, understanding fault, and incorporating future liabilities. Each case is unique, and having professional guidance to navigate these complexities can be invaluable. Whether it’s negotiating with insurance companies or representing your interests in court, a knowledgeable attorney is a crucial advocate in maximizing your settlement.

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