You know the number one question I get from everyone, no matter what kind of case they have, is:
“What is My Case Worth”.
And that is definitely true for car accident cases.
So what we are going to talk about today are the general guidelines that effect how much a car crash case is worth.
To really get a good idea, you need to consult with a car crash lawyer who has experience and who has all the facts of your case.
So this is NOT legal advice, but it is super valuable information that gives you sort of the guidelines so that you will know if somebody is offering you money on a case, whether the money should be taken or whether you should hold out for more money.
Or even if you have a lawyer, you can consider whether what that lawyer is offering you is something you should take.
So really, the value of a car crash is based on percentage fault, medical bills, wage loss, and whether the injuries are serious or permanent. So lets jump in right now and talk about it.
The first factor is percentage fault.
So the way we evaluate these cases is, at the end of the case, if it does not settle, the judge and jury is going to evaluate what percentage fault each person in the crash has.
So if you are a passenger obviously you are not going to be at fault.
They are just going to evaluate the drivers involved.
If there are two cars that are involved in the crash, maybe one car is responsible for 100% at fault and maybe the other driver 0%.
Maybe its 50%-50%, or any combination of that adding up to 100%.
So why is this important?
Lets say that there are two cars involved in the crash. Both of the cars have some fault.
Car 1 is 20% at fault and Car 2 is 80% at fault and you win $100,000.
That fault determination means that Car 1, that was at 20% at fault, pays $20,000
and the car that was involved in the crash, Car 2, that caused 80% has to pay $80,000.
Now if you are found to be partially responsible, and you are found to be more than 50% responsible you can notrecover for your injuries.
So percentage fault is definitely a major thing you need to consider and you have to evaluate your case to determine what a fair settlement value would be.
The next factor is medical bills.
The higher the medical bills, the more valuable the case. The lower the medical bills, the less value the case.
Now that comes with some caveats.
If you have had surgery or you require ongoing medical care for your injuries sustained in a car crash, that obviously increases the value.
This is not a hard and fast rule.
For example, in a case where somebody has a scar or permanent ongoing injury for which there is not a lot of medical care that they can give you, your medical bills may be quite low, but the value of the case may be quite high.
The next factor is wage loss.
Were you working at the time of the accident? And if so, have you lost time from work?
If you’re working around the time of the crash and you are not required to take any time off from work, that sends a powerful message to the jury that your injuries were not that serious.
But if your injuries are that you can never return to work, that sends a powerful positive message that the injuries you sustained were really serious and really affected your life and that the value of your case goes up.
The last factor that really affects face value, is whether your injuries were serious and permanent or somewhat less.
So obviously a temporary injury is worth less money than a permanent injury.
Take a minor injury that is maybe 1-2-3 out of 10 on the 1-10 pain scale verses a serious injury, 6-7-8-9 on the 1-10 pain scale; obviously the minor pain scale is worth less money and the more serious injury is worth more money.
The other factor here to consider is the affect on your life.
Jurors are allowed to give you pain and suffering and disability damages in a trial and that is something we ask for in a settlement as well.
So consider whether the injury has affected you. Let’s say you love to play football, basketball, or soccer, and you can never play that sport again. You are not making money from it, but it really added to your life.
If they injury has really affected you and has stopped you from doing what you really enjoy doing in life, that definitely adds value to the case.
The next thing is, definitely talk to a lawyer.
Once again I want you to understand that these are general guidelines and you need to talk to an attorney and give that attorney all the facts they need to give you 100% of valuation on your case.
But if you have been involved in a car crash, do not give the insurance company a recorded statement until you get a chance to speak to a lawyer who will represent your interests.
Injury lawyers offer a free consultation. I offer a free consultation. Why not talk to a lawyer. You don’t have to hire them if you don’t want to but at least you will have some information that you did not have before.
And finally, if you have any concern if you sustained an injury, absolutely go see a doctor.
I offer a free consultation in person or by telephone, your choice.
I can answer your questions with no obligation. You can call me at 888-HURT-318
Providing good information to injured people is the mission of my law office. If I can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.
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Cab Driver, Fall Down