According to the National Safety Council, the average car accident with injuries costs upwards of $30,000. So if you’ve been injured, do you know how you’re going to manage those expenses? Fortunately, an injury attorney can explain your legal rights and options and help you seek an auto accident settlement.
To get an idea of what you could expect in terms of financial recovery, let’s start by taking a look at the consequences of a traffic accident.
Common Consequences of a Traffic Accident
There are several consequences car accident victims have to deal with after the incident. While you’re likely to think about the injuries and expenses first, that’s unfortunately not where the damages stop.
If you’ve been in a crash, it’s important to keep track of how the accident has affected your life. This way, your attorney will have an easier time valuing your claim.
Physical injuries from a motor accident vary. The severity of any given injury is typically based on the type of wreck, the force at which the vehicles collided, and the proper health status of the victim.
With mild to moderate injuries, you could be looking at days, weeks, or a few months of recovery. Broken bones, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, and contusions are possible.
If you sustain severe injuries, like a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord trauma, you could be looking at months in the hospital. Depending on the situation, you could face paralysis or changes in cognitive function.
If you lost a loved one to their accident-related injuries, a lawyer could help you take action with a wrongful death claim.
While not as visible as physical injuries, emotional trauma can take its toll on an auto accident victim. Nightmares, loss of appetite, and intrusive thoughts are common.
In the event the accident caused permanent injuries or the death of a loved one, the surviving victim could have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Managing and moving on from emotional trauma isn’t always easy. In some instances, professional help or medication could be needed.
The property damage incurred from a traffic accident depends on the type of accident and the severity of the actual collision. However, in most instances, the involved vehicles will sustain some level of damage.
Repairing vehicles is expensive. If the car is beyond repair, the insurance company could consider it totaled.
There’s also the possibility that you have valuables, like a cellphone or laptop, in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The cost of damages personal belongings can add up as well.
Determining the Value of a Car Accident
The value of your auto accident settlement is based on a number of factors, including monetary losses and personal losses.
To get the most accurate value, your lawyer will consider all the necessary factors before proclaiming what your case is likely worth in the eyes of the law.
Economic damages are calculable. They include medical bills, lost property, vehicular damage, lost wages, and any other applicable losses.
To calculate what you’re owed in terms of economic losses, your attorney will collect hospital bills, pay stubs, wage statements, receipts, and any other applicable materials that prove monetary loss.
Non-economic damages are harder to value because they are based on more subjective losses, like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment in life.
To properly value your non-economic damages, your attorney will determine how severely your life has been impacted by the accident. They may also look to settle claims from the past to look for similarities.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded, but it’s important to understand what they are. In the event a driver is grossly negligent like they were intoxicated at the time of the crash, they can be held accountable.
Punitive damages essentially punish the at-fault party for their negligence and discourage others from taking similar actions in the future.
Maximizing Your Auto Accident Settlement
To receive full and fair compensation for your accident, it’s important to take the proper steps to maximize your claim. You can start at the accident scene itself.
Try to preserve as much evidence as possible. Take photographs and videos, and get contact information from anyone who was nearby.
It’s also important to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you could be dealing with injuries. It will also benefit your claim to have any injuries officially documented.
In the days and weeks after the crash, remember to follow your doctor’s advice. Also, stay off social media. It’s normal to want to share your progress with friends and family, but the insurance company could use any online activity against you.
Once your lawyer has built your case, and you’re ready to negotiate, be prepared for the opposing party to offer an inadequate settlement. Remember that you do not have to take what they offer. You can counter or go to court.
In the event settling isn’t possible, your attorney can help you pursue a lawsuit. Doing so will bring your case before a judge and jury, who will ultimately decide what you are awarded via a verdict.
Learn More About Your Potential Claim
Whether you’re ready to file a claim to seek an auto accident settlement or you wish to learn more about your legal rights after a crash, our attorneys are here for you.
When you reach out to us, we’ll see up a consultation, review what you’ve been through, and help you decide how best to proceed to protect your family, your finances, and your future. Contact us today to learn more.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.