Hawk Law Group | July 19, 2023 | Car Accidents
Assessing the value of a car accident settlement can be complicated, with amounts differing significantly across cases. Understanding what factors affect this amount can provide vital insight into what to anticipate after being involved in a motor vehicle incident and any necessary actions you should take afterward.
Some of the most common factors affecting settlement values include the following:
Medical expenses related to car accident injuries play an essential part in victim settlements. These costs can include immediate emergency room services and hospital stay costs, as well as follow-up care services like physical therapy sessions and expected future healthcare costs.
To accurately determine these costs, expert testimony from medical professionals may be required.
Another substantial factor influencing auto accident settlements is property damage resulting directly from the event. This type of compensation could cover repairs to the vehicle, replacement costs, and damages involving personal property (like phones, jewelry, and other property ruined during the accident).
Lost wages refer to income one fails to earn due to their inability to work because of injuries sustained in a car accident. These include not only obvious losses like missed hours or days of work but also unused vacation days, bonuses, promotions, or raises you would have attained had you been able-bodied.
If you’re seeking damages for lost wages following an auto accident, you will need to provide comprehensive evidence detailing your financial losses and show that they are a result of the incident. This can include letters from your employer clarifying your regular wage rate and any missed opportunities during the recovery period, plus medical documentation indicating injury severity and prognosis.
Liability, or fault, essentially refers to who bears the responsibility for the incident. The extent of this liability directly impacts how much a person can recover from an insurance claim or lawsuit following a car crash.
In Georgia, car accident compensation is governed by modified comparative negligence, a doctrine used by courts and insurance companies when determining damages. This doctrine specifies that a plaintiff is eligible for compensation if their degree of fault in causing their injuries does not exceed 49%.
Under modified comparative negligence rules, your settlement will be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be responsible for. For example, if you’re 10% at fault, your settlement will be reduced by 10%. If you are 50% or more at fault, you cannot recover any compensation.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is another critical factor determining settlement amounts after car accidents. Pain and suffering damages, often used interchangeably with non-economic damages, includes both physical distress endured through painful conditions related to the incident as well as emotional trauma such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Determining the value of pain and suffering in a settlement is not as straightforward as determining economic losses, which have a clear monetary value attached to them.
The first step to calculating pain and suffering involves quantifying all economic losses. Once your attorney has this base figure, they frequently apply what’s known as the ‘multiplier’ method for calculating non-economic damages. This multiplier can range from 1.5 up to 5, depending on case severity. The worse your pain and injuries, the higher the multiplier.
Once the multiplier is determined, your attorney will multiply that number by your economic damages. For example, if you were badly injured and suffered a severe spinal injury – they might choose a multiplier of 4.
If your economic damages (medical bills, property damage, and other financial losses) were $100,000, they would then multiply this by 4 for a result of $400,000. This amount would be your demand for pain and suffering.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover Full Compensation
Car accidents can affect you on multiple fronts, from physical harm to financial strain. Knowing your legal right to claim damages after such a traumatic incident will ease the recovery journey. To make the best use of this right, it’s crucial that you seek advice from an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and realize the true value of your claim.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.