How Much is my Car Accident Case Worth?
Car accidents can leave victims with damages from injuries that they can claim compensation for.
Car accidents can be extremely stressful, causing you to wrack up large amounts of debt from medical bills and missed work. You may incur serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries. Every year, more than 38,000 people die, and 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the United States. In Florida, there are approximately 400,000 car accidents each year.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. Distracted driving includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, or other general distractions. A distraction can even be as little as talking with a passenger. If someone takes their eyes off the road, it can cause an accident to occur. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can be considered a distraction.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also incredibly dangerous, leading to delayed reflexes, swerving, speeding, and aggressive driving. Driving under the influence is not only negligent, but illegal. If you’re injured because of a drunk driver they will have to deal with your civil lawsuit as well as a criminal lawsuit.
Speeding, driving recklessly, and driving aggressively are all also causes of car accidents in Florida. Driving too fast can make it harder to react, most commonly causing side-swipe or rear-end accidents. Aggressive driving, like cutting someone off, also commonly causes accidents, and can be considered gross negligence.
What Factors Impact the Value of my Claim?
Severity of Injuries
The severity of your injuries play a huge part in the value of your claim. The more severe your injuries are, the more they’ll affect your life and the higher your damages will be. Severe injuries that are visible also often raise the value of your claim, opposed to injuries that are internal.
Total Amount of Damages
The total amount of damages is a determining factor in how much compensation you’ll be awarded, as you’ll be awarded the total sum of your damages if you win your case at trial. Your damages are affected by the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical debt you have, and how much the injury has affected your life.
How Liable was the At-Fault Party
If the liable party was grossly negligent, then your case may be worth more. Gross negligence is negligence that is more than just a mere “accident.” This includes things like reckless driving, aggressive driving (like cutting someone off), or drinking and driving.
What Can I be Compensated for After my Accident?
After your accident, you’ll likely be stressed about how you’re going to pay back your medical bills. Not only that, but you may be behind on bills from missing work. Damages fall into two different categories, economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover monetary losses, like:
- medical bills
- ambulance rides
- doctors visits
- surgery costs
- physical therapy
- mental therapy
- past and future lost wages
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses, such as:
- pain and suffering
- loss of earning capacity
- loss of consortium
- any compensation for permanent disability and disfigurement
Non-economic damages are calculated by assessing the change in your quality of life before and after the accident. The more your life has changed, the more compensation you’ll receive. For example, if you were an avid runner before your accident, but now you have a disability that prevents you from running, you’ll receive more compensation than someone who lived a sedentary lifestyle and has injuries they’ll recover from.
Should I Settle my Car Accident Case?
Deciding whether or not to settle your case can be a huge decision. Deciding whether or not to settle is a hard choice. Your case has two values: trial value and settlement value. The trial value is the total sum of your damages. Your settlement value is affected by your chance at winning your case. If you have a 75% chance of winning your case, your settlement value will be 75% of your trial value. For example, if your case is worth $300,000 at trial value, then your settlement value is $225,000.
Your attorney will be able to help you make an informed decision about whether or not you should settle your case. However, ultimately, the decision is up to you.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contacting an attorney is vital in ensuring that you don’t accidentally damage your own case by speaking to insurance companies without an attorney present. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online, by using the chat box option, or by calling us at 727-571-1333.