How much should you settle for after a car accident? This question comes to everyone’s mind at one point or another following a bad crash. Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer. Your injuries, missing wages, vehicle damage, and emotional hardships all contribute to the value of your claim and what could be called a fair settlement amount.
How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?
The short answer to how much you should settle for is whatever is fair. The long answer depends on determining what is fair though.
A fair value of a car accident settlement will be affected by:
- Injuries: The main reason why people need to file personal injury claims after car accidents is to get payments for necessary medical treatments that otherwise would have come from their own insurance policies and pockets. Hospitalization, emergency room care, surgeries, prescriptions, months of rehabilitative therapy, and so on can all add up to massive financial damages. If you were catastrophically injured, then it is natural to assume that your damages will exceed those of someone who was only mildly injured.
- Missed work: Your job and how it was affected by your injuries will also change your claim’s value. Personal injury claims can seek damages related to wages unpaid because the claimant or plaintiff was unable to go to work while recovering from their injuries. If you have a high-paying job, like a computer engineer, and miss a month of work, then it is likely that your settlement should be more valuable than someone who is an entry-level cashier who also missed a month of scheduled shifts.
- Property damage: The extent of the property damage caused by your car accident can technically change the value of what is a “fair” settlement. Even though vehicle repairs and replacements are handled through a property damage claim, which is separate from a bodily injury claim, the value can still be considered in a settlement if the responding insurance company wants to bundle everything together for simplicity’s sake. If your car was new and totaled, then you will obviously need more compensation than someone who had a car that was a decade old and only lost a bumper, for example.
- Noneconomic damage: Last but certainly not least, noneconomic damages can vastly change the value of your car accident settlement. Noneconomic damages are paid to claimants in relation to the pain, suffering, hardship, and lasting emotional trauma they are dealing with caused by the accident and their injuries. Everyone is affected by trauma differently, so it is possible that your noneconomic damages could be much higher than someone else who has suffered nearly identical injuries because you have felt a worse amount of hardship and pain.
Not Sure How to Calculate Damages? Get Help
Ultimately, the question of a car accident settlement’s value takes far more precision and workshopping to reach a fair amount than most people expect. If you aren’t familiar with damage calculations nor settlement mediations with insurance representatives, then you should seek the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Kentucky Injury Law Center proudly assists and represents car accident clients in Bowling Green and throughout Kentucky. To see if we can help you with a claim, contact us right away and schedule a FREE initial consultation with our car accident attorneys.