A car accident claim can be worth $3,000, $5,000, $10,000, or even more. There are a number of factors that might determine the monetary value of your car accident claim.
The nature and extent of your injuries, the economic losses you've sustained as a result of the crash, and whether or not you are able to fully recover from your injuries can all play a part in determining the type of settlement you might receive in a car accident case. The degree of negligence on the other driver's part or on your part could also influence the value of your claim.
Your Orange County car accident lawyer will help calculate the value of your claim, for example, by adding up medical bills and lost wages. In major accident cases where victims might have suffered catastrophic injuries, your attorney might rely on experts who can help quantify specific costs that are related to your injuries. For example, if you have suffered a limb amputation or paralysis as a result of the car accident, a life care planner can help calculate the cost of future medical treatment and care.
It is important to remember, however, that each and every case is unique and that it is difficult to put a dollar amount on a case at the outset. A reputed car accident lawyer will fight for your rights and to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
Factors That Affect the Value of a Claim
Here are some of the factors that might have an impact on the value or worth of your car accident case.
Severity of your injuries: The more severe your auto accident injuries are, the higher the settlement or verdict amount is likely to be in your case. For example, if you strained your leg or even sustained a fracture, while these might be painful to heal, they do heal in a few weeks or months. These types of injuries are less serious than say a herniated disc, broken spine or a traumatic brain injury, which might require surgeries, hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation. Therefore, the more severe your injuries are, the more your car accident claim will be worth.
Nature of your injuries: When your attorney evaluates the worth of your claim, he or she will look into the nature of your injury. Some types of injuries might have a significant impact on the victim's emotional or psychological well-being. For example, if someone has suffered extensive lacerations to their face or if they have been badly burned in a car accident, they may be dealing with disfigurement and the psychological trauma associated with having such a physical appearance in addition to experiencing physical pain from the injuries. In a car accident claim, victims can seek compensation for both physical injuries and emotional pain.
Recovery: The victim's chances of making a full recovery can also affect the worth of value of a car accident claim. While some injuries may be pretty simple and straightforward to assess, other injuries such as spinal trauma could leave victims with chronic pain or lifelong disabilities. If you will need ongoing treatment and therapy and incur costs related to your injuries for the rest of your life, you should be compensated for these expenses as well. For example, if a person is paralyzed in a car accident, he or she should receive compensation for nursing care and other costs associated with such a catastrophic injury and disability.
Economic Losses in a Car Accident
Victims and their families often incur a wide range of financial losses. There are often cases where the injured victim is unable to work because of his or her injuries. As a result, he or she is losing income while facing other expenses such as medical expenses, treatment, doctor's visits, surgeries, etc. The higher the financial losses incurred by the victim, the greater the value of his or her car accident claim.
Here are some of the common economic losses that are sustained in a car accident:
Medical expenses: When a person has suffered injuries in a car accident, he or she may incur expenses such as emergency transportation, ER treatment costs and expenses related to follow-up treatment. When the injuries are severe, the victim may have to undergo surgeries and remain hospitalized, sometimes for weeks. All of these expenses could add up to tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes more. When a person has been catastrophically injured, he or she may require lifelong care, which will add significantly to the value of the claim.
Lost income: If you were employed at the time of your car accident, your economic losses should include lost wages. While you may use sick and vacation time, when you've suffered an injury that requires rest and rehabilitation, you will invariably need to take time off work. The longer you miss work, the higher your car accident claim will be worth because of the money you've lost in wages. If you are unable to return to your work or have lost the ability to earn a livelihood due to catastrophic injuries, your attorney will also factor in lost future wages and loss of ability to earn a livelihood into the value of your claim.
Cost of rehabilitation: It is a fact that injuries suffered in a car accident require time to heal. Sometimes, they heal in days. But often, they might not heal for weeks or even months. Some injuries such as brain injuries and spinal cord trauma may require extensive rehabilitation. The costs of rehabilitative treatment and therapy could add up over time. A lot of these expenses may have to be paid out of pocket because health insurance might not cover them.
Non-economic losses in a car accident might include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium with a spouse or partner, and loss of life's enjoyment or loss of quality of life. Your car accident lawyer will be able to calculate the value of your claim based on both your economic and non-economic losses.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help you assess the situation, determine the value of your claim and help you pursue and secure maximum compensation for your losses. The knowledgeable lawyers at the Law Offices of Timothy J. Ryan will fight for you every step of the way. Call us at 714-898-4444 for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.