Factors that Influence the Value of Your Car Accident Claim
Being the victim of a car accident can not only be frightening; it can be costly. After an accident, you may feel like your finances are being drained by the costs of medical appointments, lost wages, and car insurance deductible payments. Ideally, either car insurance or a lawsuit based on your injuries will result in payment to you that will cover all your expenses. In order to predict your financial future, it can help to create an estimate of what you might expect to receive from a settlement with your insurer or through a personal injury lawsuit. While there is no guarantee of the amount you’ll recover, there are certain factors and rules that will affect the outcome of your case, which you’ll find below.
What type of injury do you have? Insurance settlements and court awards should first and foremost be designed to reimburse the costs associated with your physical injuries, such as the cost of doctor’s copays, rehabilitation, and necessary medical equipment. Insurance settlement offers are typically calculated based on what the injured plaintiff could expect to win from a jury trial, considering the costs of trial and the plaintiff’s odds of winning a trial. Since juries are more likely to give a larger award to a victim with visible injuries (i.e., a broken arm versus a mild brain injury), insurance company settlements tend to be larger in these cases, as well.
What sort of witness are you? What sort of witness is the defendant? Juries are moved by sympathetic victims who have suffered serious consequences as a result of their injuries. For example, an accident victim who spent all their free time salsa dancing and suffered multiple breaks in their leg will receive a more substantial jury award than a sedentary person who worked in an office. By that same token, if the defendant lacks remorse for the accident, or was intoxicated or distracted at the time of the crash, a jury will be more likely to award a greater amount in damages to the victim. However, if the defendant has few financial resources or made an error behind the wheel that members of the jury could imagine making, this could result in a lower damages award. Likewise, if the victim was partially at fault for the accident, this will result in a reduction in damages.
How experienced is your legal representation? Skilled personal injury attorneys understand the interplay of factors that will affect the amount in money damages you will receive. A talented accident attorney will use expertly-prepared evidence and persuasive arguments to present a strong case to the insurance carrier or jury, demonstrating why you deserve a large award of damages.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Hawaii, get help filing a claim for money damages resulting from your accident by contacting the dedicated and knowledgeable Hilo auto accident lawyer Louis P. Mendonca for a consultation, at 808-961-6690.