How much a personal injury claim is worth depends on several factors. 

Injuries

Settlements primarily depends on the severity of the injuries and whether we can successfully argue that the injuries you suffered were caused by the accident.  This is easier said than done because it is the defendant’s insurance company’s job to aggressively defend cases by arguing that some or all of your injuries were not caused by the accident or they attempt to downplay how serious your injuries truly are. This is why it is crucial to seek medical treatment immediately following a vehicle accident because any delays or gaps in your medical treatment can hurt your case.  It is important to hire a personal injury attorney who understands how to defeat the insurance company’s arguments and one who understands how to prove your injuries.

Policy Limits

The defendant’s insurance policy may have limits on how much they can pay on a personal injury claim. If your damages exceed these limits, then we will look toward your own insurance company to see if you have a larger policy (called an underinsured motorist claim).  It is important that you review your insurance policy (your Declarations Page) with your insurance agent to make sure that you have sufficient uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage just in case you are injured by a defendant who has a minimal insurance or no insurance at all.  That way, you can rely on your own insurance policy for full compensation.  Otherwise, you may need to pursue compensation from the defendant personally, which can be more challenging or even a dead end.

Shared Fault

The value of your claim can also be reduced by the percentage that you may have been at fault for the accident. This is called comparative negligence.  Comparative negligence laws vary by jurisdiction.  For instance, if you are found to be 50% at fault, your damages may be reduced by that percentage.  This is why it is important to hire a personal injury attorney who will aggressively push back against arguments that you were in any way at fault to make sure that you receive full and fair compensation for your case.

Punitive Damages

These are extra damages that can be awarded to an injured person to punish the defendant for reckless or grossly negligent behavior.  Punitive damages are less common and typically awarded in cases of extreme misconduct, but they can significantly increase the overall value of your claim.   For example, if you are involved in an accident where you are struck by an intoxicated driver, then punitive damages might be appropriate.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *