After being injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to a certain amount of cash – sometimes a considerable quantity. But, the exact amount of money that you can be awarded for such an incident will depend on many factors. You might be asking yourself “how much compensation can I get from a car accident?”
To get a better idea of how much you could be awarded in a car accident case, it helps to know why this money is awarded in the first place. The purpose of this money is to leave you, the victim, “whole” from all damages and losses caused by the accident. Of course, this is not always possible, but the legal system does its very best.
For example, money can be recovered to:
- Cover the costs of your medical expenses this includes immediate treatment, medications, and ongoing therapy.
- The total cost of any repair work needed for damages to your vehicles or property.
- Money to offset wages lost due to time spent in recovery.
All of these are exact financial costs that are attached to a very specific number. But, then there are some damages that are not fixed to a specific cash amount, for example, the loss of a limb, living in pain or permanent disability. In these cases the law allows you to be compensated with extra money, though the cash received does help to manage some of the financial burdens. Having a car accident lawyer on your side increases your chances of getting maximum compensation.
The amount of extra money awarded will depend on exactly how serious the losses and suffering is. This could be a few thousand dollars for a minor injury or even hundreds of thousands for a very serious and life-changing injury.
So, the concise response is that the amount of money you can collect is equal to:
- The total costs of your actual bills needed for recovering from the accident.
- The total amount of cash you lost for missed work and wages.
- It is safe to assume that this is the amount you will receive and possibly much more
How Will Insurance Challenge My Claim?
Ideally, if you were injured in an accident and you were not at fault, then you would get the full amount awarded by the law. But, in our world we have institutions called insurance companies and they stay in business by protecting their interests and not making large payouts to every claim. Here are some of the ways they will attempt to avoid making a full payment to your claim.
Saying it was Your Fault
The easiest way to avoid having to cover your damages is by saying that you were to blame for your state of affairs. If you were the one to blame for your accident, they don’t have to pay for anything.
Saying it was “partly” your fault
In the state of Georgia, both of the drivers in a car accident can be to blame. This is where the insurance companies will try to increase the amount of culpability you share in the accident. If you are as much as 40% to blame for the accident, they can reduce your payout by 40%, they also don’t have to pay anything.
Challenge your injuries
Sometimes the insurance providers will argue that the injuries sustained in the accident are not actually as bad as you claim, whether you got the treatment you actually needed or if the injury was even related to accident at all. This is an especially dastardly move and can be difficult to counter without a professional at your side.
By delaying as long as they can, insurance companies hope to discourage you into accepting a low ball offer that is only a fraction of your total damages.
The only way to avoid these tactics is with professional representation. These insurance companies keep a talented team of lawyers working overtime and these experts have experience poking holes in insurance claims to avoid all payments or as much as possible.
There is no way to go toe-to-toe with these big insurance companies on your own.
You will need a professional who knows the ropes. A good personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will add weight to your case by knowing what evidence is essential and have experience in handling these cases. They know how to apply pressure and make the insurance companies payout.
How is my car accident settlement value calculated?
Generally speaking, injuries that might “appear” to be more serious are given more weight, since juries have a tendency to have a stronger reaction to those types of injuries. Even if your case does not go to trial, both sides will consider the way a jury will react since, if nothing is worked out in the negotiation process, then the ultimate decider will be a jury. That means you could end up with a higher settlement for your injury if it:
- “Looks” serious and is visible
- Requires invasive or complicated procedures
- Did not respond very well to your initial treatment and took a lot longer than expected to improve
- Left you with a permanent limitation, disability or pain
Beyond this, the two sides differ in the way they estimate the cost of your injury in dollar amounts. Both sides will look at your actual medical costs as well as your “pain and suffering.” However, different methods will be used by the insurance company and your attorney to calculate the final amount.
Your attorney will calculate the total cost of your injury which is partly based on how your life has been affected by it. That can involve numerous factors, including whether or not there is emotional anguish associated with your injury, whether your ability to work is affected, whether you are going to continue to experience pain in the future, and whether or not the injury interferes with your regular daily living.
On the other hand, the insurance company likely will calculate your settlement’s value based on a certain algorithm. They will enter your type of injury, along with various factors that relate to it, and then allow a number to be given by a computer that is based on other cases that are similar to yours.
It is not surprising that the number that the insurance company comes up with is often much lower than the number that your attorney calculates. That is why the negotiation process can make such a huge difference in car accident claims, and why having an experienced attorney can make such a major difference in the amount you win ultimately.
What are some examples of various car accident settlements along with their values?
Based on the above examples, we can provide a general range for the amount that some of the more common types of car accident injuries may win in the state of Georgia:
A case of minor whiplash, which can be quickly resolved by having chiropractic treatments, can win enough to pay for your medical bills and an additional $3,000.
Moderate whiplash where physical therapy or a specialist is required can win the cost to pay your medical bills and an extra $4,000 or so.
More serious whiplash where an epidural is required, or another type of advanced procedure can have medical bills that easily cost $10,00, and another $5,000 to $10,000 may be won in addition to this.
Tissue or joint damage that responds to treatment well and that is resolved by physical therapy might pay for your medical bills and an additional $10,000.
Tissue or joint damage that requires you to have ongoing injections or treatment can easily bring in $25,000 or more.
Injuries requiring surgery might win a settlement of $50,000 or even more; injuries that are severe can win over $100,000 easily.
How can I find out the exact amount that my claim is worth?
For serious injuries, the answer will depend more on having your claim negotiated by a professional. For really minor injuries, having an attorney might only get you an extra $3,000 or so; for a disability or shattered bones, an attorney can help you get tens of thousands in additional money than you can get on your own.
In general, the best way to ensure that you get the entire amount of your claim is to do the following:
- Immediately see a doctor.
- Be very careful about what you say to an insurance company – before signing anything, speak to an attorney first.
- See a specialist who thoroughly understands your specific kind of injury.
- Have an attorney represent you and deal with the insurance company for you.
Insurance agencies V. Personal Lawsuits
There are various cycles with regards to looking for pay from an insurance agency or a personal claim. In the event that your insurance agency shuts the case and everything is done on that front, you can open a personal claim against the other driver.
Numerous individuals find that they attempt to look for the biggest settlement conceivable from protection instead of pursue a distinctive individual. Talk with a lawyer to realize what your choices are in looking for a settlement. Make a point to act rapidly as GA has a two-year window on personal injury claims from the date of the episode.
At times, you may maximize the cutoff on their protection. Around then you would have to seek after a claim against the individual too for the distinction. For instance, if your doctor’s visit expenses are $40,000 and their protection covers out at $15,000 you are out for $25,000. That would be an ideal opportunity to get a legal advisor to help set up a personal claim.
Calculating In Pain And Suffering
While deciding the amount you ought to expect in a car wreck settlement, you should count on more than your hospital expenses. Specialist visits and bills are just a little piece of your settlement. Torment and enduring will incorporate the bills and like well as different things.
Agony and enduring can incorporate numerous elements.
An attorney can help you discover perspectives like death toll satisfaction, and lost wages. You ought to expect things like this to be in your settlement.
How can I find out exactly how much money I deserve?
You need to have a full examination from a medical professional and a professional lawyer to represent you. Some specialist car accident lawyers will even give you a free consultation to give you a better idea of what your case will require and how much cash is at stake.
They can provide a precision overview and professional perspective from the many cases they have handled and tell you exactly how much cash to expect.
Have you suffered in an accident? You can count on the professional support and representation of the Weinstein Firm. We offer a free consultation with experienced car accident and personal injury lawyers. Simply fill out the form you see on the right or call us up at 770-HELP-NOW to schedule your FREE consultation today.