What factors could affect my car accident settlement?
When you are injured in a car accident, one of your primary concerns after receiving the medical care you need is holding the negligent driver responsible for compensating you. If you are like most victims, you want to know how much you will receive in a settlement. Unfortunately, there is no exact formula for figuring this out. However, an experienced car accident attorney can give you a general idea of what you should receive based on his experience and factors that affect settlement amounts in these cases.
Factors That Can Determine How Much Compensation You Will Receive From the Negligent Driver
There are a number of variables that can affect the strength of your claim and the amount you can expect to receive in your settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Here are some of the more important ones:
Severity of your injuries. If you suffered long-term injuries, like traumatic brain injury, chronic back or neck injuries, paralysis, or burns, you could be entitled to more compensation because your medical expenses, wage losses, and pain and suffering would be greater. This can increase the value of your claim.
Medical evidence. If you sought prompt medical care for your injuries and there is a strong causal connection between your injuries and your car accident, this also can increase the chances that you will receive a favorable settlement. The insurance company could argue about the seriousness of your injuries if you delayed seeking medical care or did not follow up on recommended medical care.
Other driver’s fault. When there is strong evidence of the negligent driver’s fault in causing your accident, this can reduce arguments with his insurance company about their liability for compensating you. Police reports, photos, and witness testimony are some types of evidence that can help prove the other driver’s negligence.
Your own fault. If you were partially at fault in causing your crash, this will reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Under Washington State’s comparative negligence laws, your settlement would be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence in causing the wreck. For example, if you were 10 percent to blame, your compensation would be reduced by 10 percent.
Your credibility. Your credibility will play a big role in increasing the value of your claim. If your statements as to how the crash occurred and the severity of your injuries when talking to your doctor, the insurance company, and others are not consistent, the insurance company would use this information to reduce your claim.
Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in the Seattle area caused by a negligent driver. To learn more about the settlement you may receive and how we will aggressively fight for your legal rights, fill out our convenient online form today.