If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know that this can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, particularly if you suffered a serious injury. Once the initial shock of the accident has subsided, you may wonder how much it is going to cost to treat your injuries and repair or replace your vehicle. When it comes to determining the value of a car accident settlement, and the financial compensation that you are entitled to, there are a number of factors that will need to be considered.
There is no average settlement amount for car accidents. Every accident is unique when it comes to the extent of property damage involved and the severity of the injuries that the motorists sustained. The following are some common factors that are considered when determining the total value of a car accident settlement.
Whether the Other Motorist Is Responsible for the Accident
If you (your lawyer) can prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident, you may be eligible for financial damages. However, Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if you were partially responsible for causing the accident, your financial compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, you will likely be prohibited from recovering any damages.
Severity of the Injuries
When a car accident causes extensive property damage and severe, life-threatening injuries, the value of the claim will be significantly more than a fender bender that caused minor injuries. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury that requires extensive, ongoing medical care and prevents you from being able to return to work, the settlement amount will be considerably higher than if you suffered whiplash. Keep in mind, however, that even if your injury is minor, you may be able to recover damages.
Whether You Sought Medical Attention
If you did not seek prompt medical care for your injuries, this could have a negative impact on your claim. The insurance company may argue that your injuries must not be serious if you did not find it necessary to get medical attention, or you waited to seek treatment for several days or weeks after the accident. In some cases, if an undetected injury is not promptly diagnosed and treated, it can progress and become more difficult to treat. Always seek medical treatment immediately following a car accident.
The Statements You Made After the Accident
After a car accident, it is a natural reaction to apologize to the other driver and ask if they are okay. However, the insurance company may use your own words against you and allege that you admitted fault by saying you were sorry. It is recommended that you avoid talking to the insurance company until after you have had the opportunity to discuss your claim with a car accident lawyer.
The Amount of Insurance Available for Your Claim
If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance may compensate you for the damages you sustained. However, if the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, you will need to sue the driver for damages not covered by their insurance. If the damages exceed the driver’s policy limits, it is unlikely that you will be able to collect the compensation you are owed from the driver. You may need to file a separate insurance claim with your provider once the claim with the at-fault driver has been settled. A car accident lawyer can assist with this process, ensure that your legal rights are protected, and address all of your questions and concerns.
Dayton Car Accident Lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC Help Clients Navigate the Claims Process
If you have been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact our Dayton car accident lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 937-222-7477 or contact us online. Located in Dayton, Ohio, we serve clients in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Centerville, Toledo, Youngstown, and Miamisburg.