What Factors Affect a Car Accident Settlement?
There are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 car accidents in Delaware every year, according to the Delaware State Police. Out of those, 5,000 crashes result in an injury. With the high number of accidents that happen, it is clear that car accident lawsuits are one of the most common cases filed in the courts of Delaware. If you have filed a car accident lawsuit, one major concern is how much your settlement will be and what factors influence that amount.
There is no average settlement amount to expect in a car accident lawsuit. Each situation is different, as is each accident. Hiring an experienced accident lawyer is essential when filing an injury lawsuit. An attorney would take each of the factors that play a role in a car accident settlement and analyze them, helping you decide the best way to go forward in hopes of maximizing your settlement:
- Who is at fault: Following an accident, you should never admit fault to anyone without talking to an attorney, including the insurance adjuster who may think that you contributed to the accident. In some states, if you share partial blame for the accident that caused your injury, your percentage of fault is then deducted from the amount you are compensated. Delaware is one of those states. In Delaware, if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, then you will likely not receive any compensation.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Delaware follows a no-fault insurance rule, which allows drivers to file an injury claim under their own insurance policy regardless of fault. When the PIP coverage is exhausted, then the driver’s private health insurance can take over, which can then be claimed in a subsequent lawsuit in some cases.
- Amount of liability coverage: One major factor in a driver’s compensation amount is the amount of liability coverage they have under their auto insurance policy.
- Severity of injuries: As the severity of the injuries suffered in an accident increases, so do the amount of damages. For instance, a serious spinal cord injury may have a higher settlement amount than a broken wrist. There are also severe injuries that leave the injured party with permanent disabilities or impairments, which could then mean future monetary losses, like loss of work or pain and suffering.
- Strength of evidence: A lack of evidence may lower the amount of compensation, but strong and substantial evidence will likely increase that amount. An accident attorney can help you gather evidence and build a strong case.
- Ability to work: If you are unable to return to work or your injury diminishes your ability to earn money, then you may receive compensation for future lost wages. An accident attorney, with the help of a medical team, would be able to help calculate how much future wages you would lose due to the impairment.
- Medical expenses: An accident survivor can claim all medical expenses, such as hospital visits or physical therapy, that accumulate because of the injury. However, insurance companies sometimes undervalue medical expenses and may not be the correct amount when seeking reimbursement.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: It is important to document your out-of-pocket expenses, such as receipts, bills, or invoices, which can increase the amount of compensation. These expenses can include assistance at home due to your injury or over-the-counter medications.
- Settlement offer: Before accepting any settlement offer, you should speak with an attorney.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Accident Survivors
If you have been injured in an accident, an attorney can help you with your claim. Speak with our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.