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When you are in a car accident, you will probably notice a great deal of pain from the injuries you suffer and a lot of stress from getting back to normal. Before long, you will also notice bills piling up for medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and various other inconveniences. You will also notice the toll that taking time off for recovery has had on your bank account.
When you notice such expenses piling up, you will probably start thinking about how much money you can get from a car accident settlement. If the accident was not your fault, you have the right to pursue compensation from the parties at fault. But how much can you get from a car accident settlement, and will it be enough? Those are the important questions we are here to help you answer before you start pursuing a settlement claim.
In every state in America, private citizens may pursue redress for private wrongs committed against them, whether or not the at-fault party committed those acts on purpose. As a private citizen, you have the right to pursue compensation if another person caused you to lose time, money, and comfort because of their careless or wrongful actions.
After a car accident, all you have to do is show sufficient evidence that the other driver involved in the crash was the person at fault. If you can show this, you can recover compensation from that party (usually through their insurance company) to help you pay for the financial and personal losses you suffered.
Some states, including California, use a pure comparative fault standard. It holds each party responsible for the percentage of fault they contributed to the accident. So, if the other driver was 100 percent responsible, they could be responsible for paying 100 percent of what you suffered. Usually, the percentage of fault is decided by insurance adjusters on the case and/or the jury, if the case goes to court.
As with many legal matters, the process of pursuing a car accident settlement can be very long and complicated. However, every settlement negotiation follows a similar pattern. Your main responsibility is to find a good personal injury lawyer to help you pursue your claim. Once you have done that, your attorneys will help you with the rest of the process.
Here is how it usually works:
You should begin the settlement process as soon as you can. In most states, you will only have two years to commence an action against the defendant. Time goes by quickly when you are working to gather the evidence you need, so getting started as soon as possible is essential to making sure your case goes well.
The amount you will earn from your car accident settlement is likely to vary significantly based on the factors in your particular case.
For example, the amount you can earn depends on:
When determining the exact amount of compensation you can recover, it’s helpful to look closely at all the damages you are eligible to earn.
In a typical car accident case, you can seek compensation for damages such as:
You and your lawyers will gather evidence of all these damages and determine an appropriate amount that should “cover” them. The process of calculating an exact amount is imprecise, so you should consider seeking legal help. Lawyers will know how to make a fair calculation based on your specific case and other similar cases they have seen in the past.
While there is no exact amount you can expect from a settlement, your lawyer will probably set a range for you from the least amount you should accept to the highest they believe you can receive. Negotiations will usually take place within this range.
As an injured party, the most important thing for you to do is focus on gathering the evidence that can help you win your case. Following a car accident, there are certain steps you should take to put yourself in a strong position for the pursuit of a claim.
Here is what to do right after an accident to help you get started on the right track.
If you are like most car accident victims, you probably wonder if you really need help from a lawyer to get an appropriate settlement. You do need one to get the highest settlement possible. People who work with lawyers often get higher settlements than those who work alone. But there are other reasons to hire a lawyer as well.
After an accident, you are already facing a lot of stress. Not only are you recovering from a lot of painful injuries, but you are also having to deal with changing relationships, complicated work situations, and finding people to help you repair your damaged car and other property. Lawyers can help you find support as you go through these changes and relieve some of your stress.
In addition, lawyers know how to calculate the right settlement amount and deal with insurance companies that do not want to pay you what you deserve. Personal injury lawyers can take a tough stance and ensure that you get the compensation that is rightfully yours.
Do not take the first settlement the defendant’s insurance company offers you, and do not fight your case alone. After a car accident, reach out to a lawyer for a free consultation. They can help you get started on your case and reclaim the life you deserve so that you can heal and get back on track as soon as possible.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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