Car Accident Damages | How to Recover Damages After a Car Accident

News » Car Accident Damages | How to Recover Damages After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a traumatic and difficult experience, and dealing with the costs associated with recovery can add even more stress.

If you've been injured in a car accident at no fault of your own, proper legal action may be able to compensate for your medical bills, lost income, and other personal injury damages.

You and your car accident lawyer will work together to calculate your total damages, using evidence and personal testimony, and file a lawsuit to begin your journey to financial recovery.

Calculating Damages for a Car Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

Retaining a car accident attorney almost always guarantees a higher settlement offer for a claim than dealing with the insurance company of the at fault driver.

Personal injury lawyers will consider all aspects related to your injuries and experience after the accident, and negotiate your settlement amount to reflect your medical care costs, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

Car accidents can be physically and emotionally debilitating. Let an experienced attorney help you.

Assessing Damages in a Car Accident Claim

Your personal injury attorney will help to identify both economic damages and non-economic damages incurred as a result of the car accident. You and your legal representation will seek compensation for these damages from the at fault party.

Damages in car accident claims can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future bills and medical expenses (need for multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, etc.)
  • Lost wages or lost income
  • Property damage and car repairs
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Mental anguish and emotional damages
  • Loss of consortium, earning capacity, and other emotional and financial losses
  • Other compensatory and punitive damages

If a wrongful death is involved, further compensatory and punitive damages can include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Emotional damages, pain and suffering of family members
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost earning capacity or lost income due to the death of a family member
  • Loss of companionship

How are Damages Calculated for Car Accidents?

Personal injury lawyers will go over your claim in an initial consultation and decide from there how exactly your damages should be dealt with.

There are a few different methods used by lawyers to calculate the rightful compensation for your injuries and other costs.

The Multiplier Method

Car accident lawyers often rely on the multiplier method in the calculation of accident claims and anticipated settlement offers.

The sum of a victim's special and general damages will be added up, including property damage, medical bills, lost earnings, and more. Then, that sum will be multiplied by a number typically between 1 and 5 to determine the monetary compensation owed to the victim for all economic damages and non economic damages.

The number used to multiply the damages incurred relies upon the severity of injuries, medical treatment costs, and a variety of other reasons.

The Damage Formula

Similar to the multiplier method, the total damages incurred as a result of a car accident, excluding lost wages, will be added together and multiplied by a number that reflects the severity of injuries and such. After establishing the sum of damages, lost income will be added on top of that amount.

The Per-Diem Method

The per-diem method entails calculating damages for a claim at a daily rate. With the help of a lawyer, victims will come up with a total daily cost for their injuries, pain and suffering after a car accident.

Gathering Evidence for a Car Accident Claim

Personal injury cases and calculated damages rely heavily on one's ability to gather quality evidence.

A car accident claim is won or lost based solely on the quality of evidence. With the help of a lawyer, start to gather evidence and preserve it as soon as possible after your car accident.

Evidence for a car accident personal injury claim may include:

  • Photos and videos of the accident or scene of accident
  • Witness statements and testimony
  • A police report or reports from other responding authorities
  • Medical records and medical bills

With the help of quality evidence, liability can be rightfully established and the resulting legal process can begin to take shape.

Never Admit Fault in an Car Accident

There is never a reason to admit or accept fault at the scene of a car accident. You are not required by law to admit or accept fault. If you are pressured to accept fault by authorities, you can invoke your right to refuse to be questioned, but it is important to always remain polite and kind.

A person who has been involved in a car accident is sometimes confused and overwhelmed. Individuals can have a hard time recollecting what incidents actually led to an accident, sometimes resulting in taking blame for an accident, even if they were not at fault.

It’s overwhelmingly suggested to remain calm and silent, and to let a car accident lawyer handle events following the incident.

Shared Liability

The legal concept of Shared Liability allows multiple parties to be at fault for an accident, deciding compensation in percentages.

Car accident fault is a complex topic based on laws and situational details. Leave the determination of fault up to an experienced car accident lawyer and the court system.

If I was Partially Responsible for the Accident, Can I Still Receive Compensation?

Yes, but the compensation awarded will more than likely be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. In the legal industry, this is called the “comparative negligence” concept.

Example of Comparative Negligence:

  • You were involved in a motor vehicle accident. You, the injured party, were stopped at a red light with no other vehicles behind you.
  • A car, who was speeding, failed to stop in time and hit the back of your vehicle, causing substantial injuries to you.
  • After the accident, it was determined that while the driver of the vehicle that hit you failed to reduce speed and was texting on the phone, they did not see your tail lights because they had gone out/were broken.

In this case, the driver of the other vehicle will be held responsible for 90% of the accident, but since you had taillights that did not work, you are found to be responsible for the other 10% of the accident.

When going to court to receive compensation for the damages incurred, the settlement amount, in this case, will be reduced by 10% because of the lack of tail lights indicating the vehicle was stopped.

Disadvantages of Relying on an Insurance Company for your Car Accident Claim

Most car accident cases settle through insurance claim procedures, even if a car accident attorney can potentially secure more compensation through a lawsuit.

Insurance companies use similar methods to calculate damages for car accident victims as lawyers, but the process is often more generalized.

What do Insurance Companies miss?

Insurance companies will assess personal injuries, medical bills, property damage, and other economic damages, but will often not account for other compensatory and punitive damages like a lawyer will.

With insurance adjusters, victims of a car wreck are routinely barred from further compensation for supplemental terms, such as future medical costs.

Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer for a Car Accident Case

There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer for your car accident case.

Hiring a lawyer to handle your car accident claim may save you time and effort, and earn you a higher settlement in the end. A lawyer will forge an intimate attorney client relationship and work closely with you. Fostering an open and honest attorney client relationship is essential in fighting a successful case and securing significant compensation.

Many car accident attorneys offer a free consultation and a free case evaluation, going over the facts of the case, common categories of damages, how to gather evidence, and more.

With a free consultation and confidential relationship established, the lawyer can move onto assessing damages. The victim, suffering pain as they are, has a lot on their plate after the incident.

What can a Lawyer do that Insurance Companies won't?

An experienced lawyer will take the reigns and calculate damages, including all damages that would be accounted for by an insurance company and then adding additional, potentially unforeseen damages on top.

These additional damages can include things such as future medical costs, loss of enjoyment in life, and anything else that more ACCURATELY reflects the actual, total damages incurred.

Insurance companies exist to minimize costs, and they will almost always undervalue a car accident claim at the expense of a victim.

What Resources does a Lawyer have?

A well-connected and established lawyer will have an extensive network of resources and people to contact for in-depth advice on a car accident claim.

In a courtroom setting, lawyers can call on expert witnesses that can validate information and testimony relating to health issues, vehicle information, and more.

A lawyer's resources are almost as important as the lawyer.

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

Hiring an attorney for a car accident case almost always results in a higher settlement amount and less of a procedural headache for victims than going through insurance does.

Attorneys will consider all general, compensatory and punitive damages and build a case that guarantees success.

Many lawyers also offer their services on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not charge for legal services unless compensation is won.

TorHoerman Law, Experienced Car Accident Lawyers

Since opening our doors in 2009 we've secured millions of dollars for people harmed at no fault of their own.

If you, a family member, or a loved one suffered injuries from a car accident, contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

We're here to help.

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