Following a car accident, a person who has suffered physical injuries, property damage, or/and noneconomic losses (such as pain and suffering) maintains the right to file a claim for damages against their own insurance company, against the insurance company of the at-fault driver, or directly against the at-fault driver. The purpose of doing so is to recover monetary compensation for the value of damages suffered. If you have questions about the different factors that can affect your car accident settlement, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys can help. Here’s what you should know about how the type of car accident in which you’re involved could affect your settlement, as well as other elements that will indeed have an effect on the amount of money that you walk away with—
Types of Car Accidents in Los Angeles
There are multiple different car accident types. Types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions;
- Head-on crashes;
- Side-swipe accidents;
- Single-vehicle crashes, including rollover accidents; and
- T-bone accidents.
While the type of accident itself does not inherently have an impact on the outcome of your claim (i.e. rollover accidents are not automatically compensated at a higher rate than are rear-end crashes), many of the details surrounding your accident, which could be affected by accident type, may indeed affect your settlement.
How the Type of Car Accident Can Affect Your Settlement Amount
Two of the biggest elements that can affect the amount of money that you walk away with at the conclusion of a car accident claim are fault and the degree of injuries that you suffer. While these two things are independent of the type of car accident, the type of car accident in which you’re involved could have an effect on both of these elements.
- Fault. Depending upon the type of accident in which you were involved, fault may be harder or easier to prove. For example, if you were involved in a head-on crash while your vehicle was lawfully traveling down a roadway and another vehicle, traveling the wrong way down the same roadway in an illegal manner, collided with your car, fault is clear: the other driver was obviously to blame. However, if you are in a side-swipe or T-bone accident, exactly which driver failed to yield, had the right of way, or otherwise acted negligently may be debatable. Because California is an at-fault car accident state, in order to recover compensation from the other party’s insurer, you must be able to prove that the accident would not have occurred but for that party’s fault – this may be complicated depending on the accident type.
- Degree of injuries. While there is no set rule about what type of accident can lead to a serious injury–for example, a person who is in a rear-end collision could, hypothetically, suffer a more serious injury than a person who is in a head-on collision–there are some general trends regarding accident type and injury severity. Generally speaking, rear-end crashes are less serious than are other accident types, and head-on crashes and rollover collisions are two of the most deadly collision types. Because the type of accident in which you are involved could have an effect on the degree of your injuries, and because the degree of your injuries will have an immediate impact on the value of your claim, the type of accident in which you’re involved could have an effect on your settlement.
Other Factors that Have an Effect on a Car Accident Settlement in L.A.
While the type of accident in which you are involved may have an effect on things like fault determination and the degree of injuries you suffer, which in turn may have an effect on your overall settlement offer, accident type is not the primary influencer of a settlement. Instead, in addition to the degree of injuries and the ability to prove fault (which can be affected by the existence of various evidence types, including eyewitnesses’ statements), factors that significantly affect a settlement include:
- Value of economic losses. A person who is involved in a car accident deserves to be compensated for the full value of their economic losses, including property damage expenses, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. While this is affected by the extent of injuries, in part, other things that may affect thing include the harmed person’s salary and income prior to the accident (and their inability to earn this income post-accident), the value of the vehicle involved in the accident, and more.
- Value of noneconomic losses. Not only does a person maintain the right to seek compensation for their economic losses, but their noneconomic losses as well, which refers to the degree of the individual’s pain, suffering, and emotional distress. This may be primarily affected by the degree of injury, but also on the change in quality of life or lifestyle that the person suffers as a result of the accident, which can vary on a case-by-case basis.
- Types of insurance and value of insurance policies. Even when fault is clear, injuries are severe, and losses are significant, a person cannot recoup the settlement that they deserve if the proper insurance policy does not exist or there is not enough coverage offered by an insurance policy. Indeed, the type and value of insurance available is one of the biggest factors that affects a settlement amount.
- Adherence to claim rules and regulations. Finally, remember that the insurance company must be notified of the accident within a certain amount of time, the claimant must be able to prove the various elements of a successful claim (duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages), and any lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations. Otherwise, the value of a claim may be diminished, or a claim may be barred entirely.
Reach Out to Our Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been in a car accident, regardless of the type of accident, that was caused by the negligence of another party, you deserve to be compensated. At the offices of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys will work hard to calculate the value of your claim and aggressively negotiate to get you the settlement that you deserve. Please reach our law office by phone or online today to request your free consultation and learn more about the car accident claims process