How Much to Expect From Car Accident Settlement
A car accident can cause serious disruptions to your life. After a crash, you may be left with auto repair costs, medical bills, lost wages, and severe pain and suffering. The purpose of a car accident settlement is to compensate you for these and other covered losses. This raises an important question: What can I actually expect to recover in a car accident settlement in California?
There is no easy answer. Every crash is different. Your settlement will depend entirely on the specific facts of your case and on your ability to effectively pursue a legal claim. Here, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys provide an overview of the three primary factors that will affect the value of your motor vehicle accident settlement.
WHAT WAS THE TOTAL VALUE OF YOUR DAMAGES?
With very few exceptions, car accident settlements are meant to be purely compensatory. Put another way, your settlement should cover your actual damages. Following a crash, it is crucial that you take the steps to document your losses — both monetary and non economic. An insurance company will only offer a full and fair settlement if you can prove the extent and value of your damages. Specifically, your car accident settlement offer may include compensation for:
- Medical bills;
- Rehabilitative care;
- Lost current and future income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Disfigurement; and
- Reduced quality of life.
DO YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PROVE FAULT?
California is a fault-based car accident state. To get a settlement offer from another driver’s insurance company, you must prove liability. As a general rule, car accident liability is based on negligence. As noted in the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, negligence is defined as the “failure to use reasonable care.” In practice, negligence can include everything from speeding and running red lights to distracted driving and intoxicated driving. All crashes should be comprehensively investigated. Negligence is not always easy to prove. All relevant evidence that can be used to prove fault — from photographs and police reports to witness testimony — should be secured. If you are held partially liable for your own crash, it could reduce the value of your settlement offer.
ARE YOU READY TO DEAL WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY?
Finally, it is important to remember that a settlement offer is an agreement to resolve the case. Insurance companies want to settle car accident claims for as little as possible — if they can do it, they will give you less than you rightfully deserve. Make sure you are ready to take on the insurance company. It is best to handle all correspondence and negotiations with insurance adjusters through an experienced auto accident lawyer.
GET HELP FROM A LOS ANGELES CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY RIGHT AWAY
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our California traffic collision attorneys dedicated advocates for injured victims. We know how to get justice and a maximum settlement offers for our clients. To set up a free review of your car accident claim, please contact our law firm today. From our office location in Los Angeles, we serve communities throughout Southern California.
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