Motor vehicle deaths in 2020 were at an all-time high compared to the last three years. Car accidents that don’t result in wrongful death often leave behind massive damages and equally nasty injuries. If you were a victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can file a claim to recover a settlement.
The compensation you receive after a car accident is typically money from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The amount of money you can win depends on various factors. As long as you can prove your damages during negotiations, you can factor any of them into the final amount.
Are There Limits to What Damages I Can Collect?
So long as there is proof that your damages resulted from your car accident, then there should be no limits to what damages you can collect. Insurance companies love to fight car accident victims and downplay how bad their accident was. Don’t let them value your settlement for you. You should calculate all your damages beforehand and know your worth.
Types of Damages You Can Collect
There are two types of damages you can pursue compensation for after a car accident. They are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover tangible categories. These are objectively verifiable monetary losses and consist of:
- Lost wages or reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses such as surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, psychological services, assisted living services, medical equipment, etc.
- Substitute services
- Vehicle repairs or replacements
- Various property damages
These damages are economic because they have a fixed value attached to them. In other words, your receipts, invoices, and bills will accurately reflect the amount these damages are worth. In addition, they rarely fluctuate in value and don’t require any additional calculations to assess.
Non-economic damages are the opposite of economic damages. These subjective damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Factoring your non-economic damages requires a bit more effort to calculate. The lack of any fixed value to these damages means you’ll have to account for how severe they are, how much they’ve affected your life, and other contextual factors of your car accident. A lawyer can help you calculate these damages by using formulas and other tactics to get an accurate evaluation.
Compensation for Punitive Damages
Most states have a provision that allows for car accident victims to receive compensation for punitive damages after a car accident. Punitive damages act as punishment for the at-fault driver for causing an accident:
- Intentionally or with malice
- Under the pretense of fraud or committing a crime
- While under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Punitive damages don’t apply to every car accident case. A lawyer can help determine whether you qualify for punitive damages or not.
How Much Is a Car Accident Settlement Worth on Average?
On average, car accident settlements can range from around $30,000 for light to moderate damages to the millions for severe damages. Of course, it all depends on how bad your injuries and damages are. For example, a car accident that results in a broken bone will be worth less than one that results in paralysis or loss of limb.
The only real way to know how much your car accident is worth is by going to a car accident lawyer. A lawyer will evaluate your car accident case and inform you of how much your settlement is potentially worth.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer to Recover Compensation?
Hiring a lawyer to recover compensation after your car accident isn’t mandatory, but it’s definitely worth it. Not only is it difficult to calculate damages on your own, but the last thing you need is also the stress of a legal battle against an insurance company.
Insurance companies have strong legal representation on their side. As a result, they can easily pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. Using stall tactics and various other methods, insurance companies want you to settle on their terms.
It’ll be easy for insurance companies to strong-arm you into settling for way less than what you truly need, especially if you don’t have any solid prior legal experience. Hiring a lawyer can stop them from doing this and allow you to get a fair settlement for your car accident.
Win Compensation for Your Car Accident Today
Statistics on highway safety show that car accident rates fluctuate, but they still remain consistently high. With thousands of deaths and millions more injured every year, the law entitles you to get justice and compensation for your damages after a car accident.
Don’t hesitate to get the help you need from a car accident lawyer so that you can get a settlement that truly accounts for all the damages you sustained.