During your free case review with an Albany car accident lawyer, one of the most important things you want to know is how much money you may expect to get in the settlement. As medical bills keep piling up and you missed several paychecks, this is perfectly understandable.
Since every case is unique, here are the aspects that will influence the car accident settlement amount your attorney will be able to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company.
1. The Amount of Your Economic Damages
Economic damages represent a significant part of a car accident settlement. These damages usually consist of:
- Ambulance ride cost
- Hospital bills
- Costs with treatments, prescription medication, and physical therapy
- Property damage – the cost to repair or replace your wrecked car
- Lost wages.
You can help your lawyer estimate your economic damages accurately by keeping all bills and receipts for expenses related to your car crash. The attorney will look over them and add up the eligible damages.
2. Whether You Are Left with a Permanent Disability or Impairment
Some car accidents cause injuries that affect people for the rest of their lives, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Loss of limb.
The accident victim may need nursing care or assistance with daily activities for the rest of their life. Also, they may not be able to engage in any kind of gainful employment. In this situation, the lawyer will evaluate future economic losses, such as:
- Costs with nursing care
- Costs of rehabilitation therapy
- Lost future wages
- Loss of earning capacity.
In this way, the attorney makes sure that you and your family will receive sufficient financial assistance to cover your needs and compensate for the wages you cannot win anymore.
3. The Severity of Your Injuries
Severe, life-changing injuries will affect your mental and emotional well-being. While it is not easy to put a monetary value on pain and suffering, your Albany car crash attorney will specify an amount to compensate you.
We will use the more advantageous of the two accepted methods of calculating pain and suffering damages:
- The per diem method: we determine a daily amount and multiply it by the number of days you spent in the hospital and under treatment
- The multiplier method: the economic damages amount is multiplied by a factor between 1.5 and 5. This factor is determined by the severity of your injuries.
This is usually the portion of damages that insurance adjusters will try hard to devalue. They will try to minimize the negative impact of the accident on your mental health and emotional well-being. However, an experienced lawyer will bring relevant evidence, such as:
- Testimonies from your family and friends indicating your changed emotional state
- Statements from your doctors showing the level of pain you experience.
- Expert witnesses’ testimonies explaining the effect of severe and permanent injuries on a person’s life.
4. The Available Insurance Coverage
In Georgia, all drivers must carry liability coverage. The minimum amounts are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage.
These amounts may not cover all your damages, especially if your car is totaled and you suffered catastrophic injuries. However, the insurance company will not pay even one cent above the available coverage amount.
If you want to recover all your eligible damages, your car wreck lawyer in Albany may have to sue the at-fault driver on your behalf. Or, you may resort to your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy if you have it.
5. Your Percentage of Fault in the Accident
In car accident cases, instances when one driver is 100% at fault are extremely rare. In the vast majority of cases, both drivers were negligent – however, one of them was more negligent than the other. This is exactly the core of the comparative negligence principle applicable to all personal injury cases in Georgia.
This principle states that only the party who was less than 50% at fault is eligible to seek compensation for their damages after a car accident. Moreover, the amount they may collect will be reduced from the total damages by their percentage of fault.
So, let us say that your economic and non-economic damages amount to $20,000. Also, you were found 25% at fault for the accident. Thus, you are eligible to collect only $15,000 as a settlement.
Call an Experienced Albany Car Accident Lawyer!
Every person is entitled to fair compensation if they were injured in a car crash by another driver’s negligence. However, even though you know that the law is on your side, you should not handle a car accident claim on your own.
Insurance adjusters will use various tricks to try to deny or devalue your claim. These tactics don’t work with an experienced Albany car accident lawyer representing you.
With an attorney at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. by your side, you can rest assured that you will collect an equitable settlement amount. We offer each new client a free case review, giving you the chance to present the facts of your case to an experienced lawyer and get an honest legal opinion. Call us now at 229-210-6226!