Car accidents happen every day, but you don’t truly understand the impact they have until you are in a serious accident yourself. The challenges come from many angles, from financial pressure to emotional distress.
What’s worse, you are facing some big decisions about how to move forward. The other driver’s insurance company may contact you, ask for a statement, or even provide a settlement offer.
The important thing is to remain level-headed and make sure you fully understand the reality of your legal situation. While this involves being able to prove negligence, collect evidence, identify and interview witnesses, and much more, it is also important to understand what your claim may be worth.
No two accident claims are exactly alike. Therefore, a settlement that adequately covers the losses of one victim may barely scratch the surface for another.
Patrick Daniel Law can help you determine what constitutes a fair settlement and when it makes sense to fight for more. Contact our car accident lawyer today for a free case review.
When someone else’s negligent or careless behavior – such as distracted or drunk driving – leads to a car accident, those injured in the crash can pursue compensation for their losses. Legally, these are known as damages.
Some damages are relatively apparent, while others are harder to define. Broadly speaking, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages after a car accident:
Economic damages refer to financial losses. They cover not only current expenses – such as medical bills and property damage – but also the inability to make money that you otherwise would have made.
For example, if you are unable to work for some time because of your injuries and that results in lost wages, you may be able to recover compensation for this lost income. In more severe cases, car accident injuries can lead to long-term disabilities that make it impossible to continue in your line of work. This is known as loss of earning capacity, with damages encompassing the wages you would have earned if not for your car accident injuries.
Similarly, with medical expenses, you should not just look at your immediate medical bills. You also need to consider any long-term expenses, including prescriptions, medical equipment, ongoing physical therapy, and more.
Ultimately, if you either have to spend money or lose the opportunity to make money because of your injuries, you might be able to recover compensation for it.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate accident victims for the emotional and psychological effects of their injuries. They are commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages
Some of the non-economic damages for which you can be compensated include:
Insurance companies often undervalue these damages. However, the impact of pain and suffering is no less real than your financial losses, and you have a right to pursue compensation for the adverse impact on your life.
Psychological trauma can have long-term consequences that make it difficult to live as you once did. It can affect your health and well-being in many ways, and it is only right that accident victims recover compensation for how the negligence of other drivers has impacted their lives.
That said, how much you deserve in non-economic damages is often less clear than economic damages – you can’t place a dollar amount on pain and suffering. However, there are accepted methods for calculating how much you may deserve in compensation. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case and determine how much you may be entitled to recover.
Once you have done the hard work of determining what you deserve in compensation – ideally with the help of a lawyer – you then have to decide if a settlement offer is fair. This is not always clear-cut since you need to factor in the risk and costs associated with taking a case to court.
It is unlikely that the insurance company will offer you a fair settlement upfront. Generally, insurers start by providing low-ball offers that are clearly unfair if you know the full extent of damages in your case.
However, after some negotiating, you may receive a settlement offer that is close enough to what you deserve that you are willing to accept it. But again, the decision to settle depends on your willingness to take the risk of going to court and prolonging the process.
Ultimately, you should lean on the advice of your attorney to make the right decision for you and your family.
Car accident claims can be difficult to navigate. While calculating the worth of your claim is a crucial part of building a case, it’s just one part of many.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we want to take this burden off your plate and allow you to focus on getting better. We know how to handle insurance companies to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of, and we can handle the entirety of your case from start to finish.
For a free consultation, please call Patrick Daniel Law today at (713) 999-6666. Our car accident lawyer serves clients in and around Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.