One of the first questions that clients ask us during an initial consultation, right after whether they have a solid legal case, is how much their claim may be worth. They are rightfully focused on money because they are dealing with difficult financial circumstances at the time. In addition, after a car accident, money means justice. Unfortunately, insurance companies invariably try to settle claims for less than victims deserve. As a result, you should retain a California car accident lawyer to represent you after any accident resulting in injuries.
Your Compensation Depends on several Factors
The amount a car accident claim is worth is not a question that lawyers can answer with specific certainty, especially without analyzing the facts of the case. Like any lawyer, we will answer that question by saying that it depends on your own particular financial and health situation. Car accident claims are worth different things to different people. Two people can be injured driving the same exact year and make of car and be eligible for completely different amounts. Everything depends on the particulars of your case, including but not limited to who is responsible for the accident, how injured you are, what your health was like prior to the incident, and even the type and amount of insurance available.
A car accident claim seeks compensation for the particular injuries that you have suffered. If you have suffered more serious injuries, you will likely be entitled to more money. Injury goes beyond just the physical injuries. You may suffer from many other car accident effects, and injuries are very specific to each person even where the accident may be one of the same.
The goal at Arshakyan Law Firm is to attempt to compensate you for all damages resulting from the accident. The guiding principle behind personal injury compensation is to put the plaintiff in the position he or she would have been in had the accident never happened. While a settlement or award cannot turn back the clock, it can certainly compensate victims for their losses.
Your Pre-Accident Earnings Are a Major Factor in Your Compensation
The insurance company or jury will look at your life before the accident and compare it to your current situation to determine their beliefs. One of the major elements of car accident compensation is the money you would have earned had you not missed time from work or had your earnings capacity reduced by your accident. Here, the insurance company would look at several factors:
- How much you were earning before your accident
- How much time you missed from work
- Whether you can do what you were doing before your accident
- How long is left in your working career
People who were earning more or could not return to work as quickly would receive more money in lost wages. Younger workers may also have more valuable claims because they have more time left in their careers where they can miss out on earnings. Lost wages are a large part of your car accident damages.
Your Level of Activity Before the Accident
You may have also lived a very active life before your car accident that the nature and extent of your injuries have curtailed. Some people live more active lives than others. For example, you may have participated in sports or had physical hobbies that you can no longer do because of your injuries. Someone more active could receive more money because they have lost more enjoyment of life than someone who is not as active.
Your Own Personal Experience After the Accident
Pain and suffering often make up a significant part of a car accident settlement or award. The insurance company must pay you for the injuries you have endured since your car accident and any ongoing issues you experience. Pain and suffering could include:
- Physical pain
There are also other accident impacts, such as embarrassment and emotional distress. People are affected by accidents in different ways. Physical injuries may have a far greater impact on one person than another. While the insurance company may try to be “objective” about pain and suffering, your compensation depends on your personal experience. If you have suffered since your accident, you have the legal right to obtain compensation for it.
Try to document how you have suffered since your accident, so your lawyer can tell your story, either to the insurance company or a jury. Your life is not the same as every other person who has filed a car accident claim, no matter how much the insurance company says it is.
You Should Fight for Top Dollar for Your Claim
Your compensation also depends on how hard you fight the insurance company to receive top dollar for your claim. There is no such thing as an “average” car accident claim because your case is not average. It is unique to you. An insurance company will try to take you out of the equation, relying on actuarial formulas in their never-ending attempt to underpay your damages. They look at you as the “average claimant,” while you are not average in any way.
Your settlement may significantly increase when you stand up and say no to an inadequate settlement offer. To do this, you must be willing to take some risks because rejecting a settlement offer takes the offer off the table and adds time to your case. However, negotiating with the insurance company may force them to raise their offer because you have the legal right to make a decision about whether you will accept a settlement offer. Your attorney may advise you accordingly.
Call a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation if you can prove that someone else was at fault for the accident. Call the attorneys at The Arshakyan Law Firm at (888) 851-5005 or contact us online to schedule
your free initial consultation. We are dedicated attorneys ready to fight for you to receive the money that you legally deserve after your car accident.