The amount of money you can receive after a car accident depends on a long list of variables. While the other driver’s insurance company may offer an initial settlement, your attorney can also negotiate on your behalf to potentially increase that amount.
Keep reading to find out which factors may be involved in determining the amount of a settlement in car accident cases.
The Extent of Your Injuries
Whether you are injured and how severe your injuries are will affect how your settlement offer is calculated. In fact, the extent of your injuries can be the most influential factor because it involves several aspects of your settlement, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Generally, the more serious your injuries, the higher the settlement amount for personal injury cases.
If you experience an injury, you will inevitably incur medical bills that are eligible for reimbursement. This includes doctor’s visits, prescription medication, ongoing treatment, and other expenses.
While a pre-existing condition isn’t fatal for a settlement, it can potentially reduce the amount of an initial offer. The insurance company will likely try to argue that the injury you’re claiming stemmed from a prior condition, not the crash. Your attorney can gather evidence to show that your injuries are due compensation because they resulted from the accident.
The Amount of Income You Lost
As you recover from your injuries, you may have to take time off work. In that case, you’ll be eligible for reimbursement for lost wages and other forms of compensation. The longer you are off work, the higher the settlement amount should be.
The Value of Property Damages
If your car is damaged, or other property was damaged or destroyed, the insurance company should provide you with funding to repair or replace those items. The higher the value of the property and the more extreme the damage, the higher the potential settlement.
How Much Pain and Suffering You Experience
So far, this article has covered specific economic damages that can be calculated objectively to determine the amount of a settlement offer. However, other forms of damages, called “non-economic damages,” may also be considered. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, which is a measure of how much physical and emotional pain you have experienced as a result of the accident.
Whether You’re Partially At Fault for the Accident
In any accident case, the insurance company will assign blame. Sometimes both parties can share fault, which can affect the amount of your settlement. In Indiana, this means that the amount of your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are 20% at blame for the accident, your settlement would be reduced by 20%.
The Other Party’s Insurance Policy Limitations
Though Indiana drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance, each policy is bound to limitations. If the other driver has minimal coverage, you may find that your settlement amount is limited by the bounds of the policy.
Whether Anyone Lost Their Life
No amount of money can replace a loved one, but if an accident does result in a fatality, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This claim can result in receiving additional compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.
Contact an Experienced Indiana Car Accident Attorney
According to the Insurance Research Council, someone injured in a car accident receives settlement claims 3.5 times higher on average when they are represented by a law firm. We encourage you to get in touch with the law offices of Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 317-827-7934 for a free consultation.