A terrible car accident can easily put your hard-earned money at risk. The worst car accidents can easily cost you thousands of dollars in getting the necessary medical treatment and vehicle repairs. The typical car accident settlement amounts can vary from 5,000 USD to over 100,000 USD depending on the amount of damage to the vehicle and the person. If you do not have any prior experience in handling a car accident case at trial, you should hire a professional auto accident lawyer for help.
An auto accident lawyer can help you calculate the exact settlement amount that you deserve after the accident.
The Deciding Factors for Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts
Damage to Your Physical Well-Being
The most critical factor that governs the total settlement amount that you will get after the trial is the damages done to your physical well-being. If you were hurt extremely bad during the accident, your chances of getting a better settlement amount increase exponentially. For example, if you were hurt in your head and the wound is visible to the jury, the settlement amount will be on the higher side.
For cases involving a fender bender, where you leave the scene of the accident with a few scratches and bumps, you do not get a lucrative amount from the settlement. However, the negotiation tactics of your lawyer play a major role here. If the lawyer can build your case in the right way, he/she can fetch you an extremely generous settlement offer.
The people who are bed-ridden and/or hospitalized for over a week at a stretch due to the accident, usually get higher settlement offers. Cases with temporary or permanent paralysis and/or loss of limbs get the best settlement offers.
Damage to Your Vehicle
The second most important factor that governs the overall settlement amount is the damage to your vehicle. If the insurance company considers your car totaled after the accident, the chances of you getting an extremely lucrative offer increases exponentially. On the other hand, in the case of a minor scratch or bump, you should not expect a rewarding settlement amount.
In cases where the impact directly affects the engine or transmission of the vehicle, the insurance company usually pays for the replacement of the car instead of fixing it. The repair shops face a tougher time replacing the parts of the car. Therefore, they choose to replace the vehicle instead.
The settlement amount based on the damage done to your vehicle also depends on the brand and cost of the vehicle. For example, even minor damage to vehicles from premium automotive manufacturers like Lamborghini, Audi, Tesla, Rolls Royce, can easily set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, they demand a higher total settlement claim.
Damage to Your Mental Health
One of the key components of your health that takes a hit after the initial impact is your mental health. Severe car accidents can leave your stunned or in trauma for a long period. Coping with post-traumatic stress is extremely difficult and costly. The certified and professional psychotherapists can easily charge hundreds of dollars for a single hourly session. Some people may easily need to attend multiple sessions to recover from the post-traumatic stress of the accident.
Such psychotherapy sessions can easily take a heavy toll on your finances. Therefore, you need to act judiciously and file for a settlement claim that takes care of the cost of such sessions. Since the overall pain and suffering that you go through is unquantifiable, you need to rely on your lawyer’s expertise in calculating this cost. The best lawyers can blow this settlement claim out of proportion in your favor so that you get an extremely generous pay.
Party at Fault
Are you sure that the third-party is at fault? Were you following all the traffic rules and regulations when the accident happened? The overall level of certainty that you were not violating any rules during the accident decides the typical car accident settlement amounts. If you are sure that the third-party was completely at fault during the accident, you can expect a higher payout.
On the other hand, if you were at fault (even if it was as something as simple as not turning on the indicator while taking the turn), the defense lawyer can hold you accountable for the accident. Ideally, you should practice your plea in front of a lawyer multiple times before going to trial. This will ensure that you do not contradict your statements during the hearing.
In the worst-case scenario, you go to the trial with the upper hand of being a victim and end up paying fines due to a contradiction of statements during cross-questioning by the defense.
Ideally, the evidence collection process should start right after the accident. In case of a minor accident when you are not hurt badly, you can start collecting the evidence by taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle. You can also get in touch with the party at fault and collect their full contact details right away. If needed, you should also get the statements of the people who witnessed the accident.
The American judicial system places a huge weightage on the overall quality and quantity of evidence collected from the scene of the accident. If you have video footage from a nearby CCTV camera or a dashcam, the chances of getting a higher settlement amount increase exponentially. The best auto accident lawyers can help you recall the specifics of the accident correctly and help you in the evidence collection process too. They can also help you file the pieces of evidence before the trial.
Negotiation Skills of the Car Accident Lawyer
One of the most important yet underrated factors that govern the car accident injury settlement amounts is the negotiation skill of your lawyer. The best lawyers have the necessary experience of fighting hundreds of similar cases. They know how to negotiate with the defense as well as the insurance company to ensure that you get the best pay.
The negotiation skills of the auto accident lawyer also ensure that the insurance company does not leverage any evidence against you to give you a lower pay. Instead, the best auto accident lawyers can help you leverage the full potential of your evidence for a better settlement amount.
The top lawyers know how to handle the pressure mounted by a strong defense and a reputable insurance company. They know all the tactics that the defense will try to use against you and lure you in with an attractive yet unfair pay.
How to Get the Best Car Accident Injury Settlement Amounts?
If you want to get fairly compensated for all your pain and suffering, you need to take certain steps that will put your case at an advantage. If you take the necessary steps at the right time, you will have the upper hand in the trial. You can easily get a fair payout or in some cases better than fair payout by the end of the trial. Here are a few steps that you can take to get the best car accident injury settlement amounts.
1. Hire a Lawyer
Hire a reliable auto accident lawyer right away. You always have the choice of fighting the case yourself at the trial, however, it is strongly advisable for you to hire a lawyer instead. Without the right legal help, you can easily get stuck into the complicated judicial system for weeks at a stretch. The insurance company and the defense lawyers will try and break your will at multiple points just to ensure that they do not have to pay a large settlement claim amount.
The lawyer will take away a lot of pressure from your hands in the case. He/she will handle a considerable amount of load and give you the peace of mind that the final decision of the trial is going to land in your favor. The seasoned auto accident lawyers know how to handle the extreme pressure of the defense and still come up with brilliant strategies to get you the best deal on the table.
2. Collect Evidence Correctly
One of the key things that you can do right after the accident is to collect evidence. Start building your case from the moment you first get out of the hospital. If possible, start building your case right after the first impact. Take plenty of pictures and collect the statements of all the witnesses in an organized fashion. These small pieces of evidence will help the lawyer build a firm case for you.
Document each feeling, invoice, as well as the cost associated with the accident to file it in the settlement claim. Consider both the quantifiable as well as unquantifiable costs of the settlement from day one and pay very fine attention to the details. This attention of the detail will help you catch the smaller nuances of the settlement claim in an organized fashion. It will also help your lawyer get you a better deal at the end of the day.
3. Do Not Settle Easily
Accepting the first settlement offer by the defense is one of the biggest mistakes that can cost you a huge sum in the long run. Do not go to the trial with the intention to settle easily. In fact, discuss and study the typical car accident settlement amounts with your lawyer before attending the first meeting. Stay in touch with your lawyer and keep him/her posted about the progress of the case. Do not get in touch with the defense without your lawyer being present in the room.
The first offer that the insurance company and the defense make will undoubtedly be the worst one that you can get from the deal. They will try to get you the worst possible deal to save their own money. They will use all the tactics in their playbook to convince you that it is an extremely generous offer. A reliable auto accident lawyer will see right through these tactics and get you the best deal instead.
Is it Compulsory for You to Get an Auto Accident Lawyer for the Trial?
The short answer – No. It is not necessary for you to get an auto accident lawyer for your settlement case. You have the full right to fight your case without the help of any third-party legal firm.
However, if the question is slightly modified to, “Should you get an auto accident lawyer for the trial?” The answer is yes. You should get one as soon as possible. Here are the few ways in which an auto accident lawyer can help you during and even before the trial.
Negotiate the Settlement Amount
The professional auto accident lawyers can negotiate the terms and conditions of the settlement for you correctly. They know the tricks that the defense lawyers and insurance companies will use to pay you a smaller settlement amount. The smart lawyers will know how to drive the negotiation conversation with the third party. They will also know how to threaten the other party and take them to trial if they do not meet the necessary requirements.
The negotiation part is extremely crucial and successfully carried out by the professional lawyers. It is not an easy job for a novice litigator to do the same. Therefore, you must hire a professional auto accident lawyer who knows how to drive the conversation in your favor correctly.
File the Claim Documents in an Orderly Fashion
The defense will try and use your lack of legal experience and force you to make a mistake during the trial. Even a small mistake can easily cost you the entire case. Therefore, you need to play your cards judiciously and follow all the rules by the book.
Some of the key rules revolve around filing the documents for formal review. Your documents and evidence need to follow a certain protocol for them to be recognized by the jury. Novice litigators often commit mistakes in the document filing process. A professional auto accident lawyer can help them prevent such a mistake.
Prepare Your Case for Presentation in Front of the Jury
The way you present your case in front of the jury and the judge holds tremendous value in the overall settlement claim amount. You need to prepare your speech and present your case in a very strategic manner to make an impact. The use of keywords in your speech will help it give the necessary feeling of truth.
A reliable lawyer will practice your speech with you and prepare you for cross-questioning. Such lawyers are well prepared for the different ways in which the defense will try to grill your case on the stand. Therefore, they can help you prepare a questionnaire with the right set of answers in case the defense tries to confuse or lead you in any way.
Save Time and Energy in Legal Procedures
The legal procedures of the claim settlement process can easily consume a significant amount of time. Without the right help, your case may take anywhere between a few weeks to several months before its conclusion. A professional lawyer knows the judicial system inside out to guide you through the process in an organized fashion.
Reliable lawyers can help you save your valuable time and energy fighting for the case. The most well-known legal firms have the right connections in the judicial system. These connections help them process the claims of their clients quickly.
Calculate the Right Amount of Settlement Claim that You Deserve
The most important way in which the defense lawyers help you is by calculating the right amount of settlement claim that you deserve. The initial amount that you claim may be too high or too low if you do not know how to calculate it correctly. The professional lawyers have the experience of dealing with hundreds of similar cases. Therefore, they can help you file for the right amount in the first instance.
The professional lawyers take both the quantifiable as well as unquantifiable aspects of the claim settlement into consideration. They are familiar with all the technical nuances and terminologies associated with the claim settlement process. Therefore, they are usually in an excellent position for helping you file for the right amount.
How Much Should You Expect? – The Short Story
So, the final question is how much should you expect from your injury settlement case? Although there is no fixed amount that you can expect, you can make sure that you get the best deal on the table by following these actions.
Always Aim Higher than Your Initial Judgement
After thorough consideration and calculation, you feel that you deserve a total settlement of 10,000 USD? Ask for 20,000 USD. You can expect the defense team to negotiate the deal with you. Do not make the demands first. Instead, ask for the amount that they are willing to pay first and then adjust your demands accordingly. If they are willing to pay you 5,000 USD, you need to fight for more.
On the other hand, if they are willing to pay you 12,000 USD. Great! You have already covered your losses, or you have not calculated the amount correctly. Under such circumstances, your lawyer will review the claim amount once more and ask for a better offer. The smart lawyers know how to leverage the upper hand for a better deal.
Ask for Support Whenever You Feel Uncertain
Do not let the overconfidence and strength of your case ruin your judgment. You need to keep a clear head while on the stand. Thinking straight will help you assess the deal on the table in an unbiased fashion. If you are not sure how to proceed with a deal, ask for support. Do not hesitate or act overconfident since it can easily cost you dearly.
Get in touch with a professional auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to get an expert review. It is likely that you are over/under-estimating the amount that you should get from the settlement claim.
Find the Necessary Resources for a Quick and Effective Turnaround
Gather the necessary resources for the trial and stay proactive in your approach. Read more about the accident cases that involve similar conditions. Study how the victim got excellent pay. The most reliable auto accident firms will have a huge library of case studies for you to refer to. These case studies will give you a fair idea of what to expect from the settlement.
Do Not Compromise on Your Demands
If you know that you are right and completely innocent, do not compromise on your demands. Have a lengthy and fruitful discussion with your lawyer to understand the complications in the case. Make your demands clearly and do not compromise at any cost. Maintain your poker face during the trial and show the jury how your mental and physical well-being took a toll on the accident.
Do not show any signs of weakness or willingness to compromise in the initial stages. If you do, the defense will try and leverage this to offer you a smaller payout.
The typical car accident settlement amounts can vary significantly from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. You need to leverage the opportunity in the right fashion to get the best payout from the deal. A lawyer can help you leverage this opportunity to its full potential. With his/her playbook and tips for negotiation, you can ensure that you get the best possible deal in the market.
It is a wise idea to rely on the skills of a professional auto accident lawyer, especially in complicated accident scenarios. For scenarios where you are partially at fault, the auto accident lawyer can act defense for you while negotiating with the insurance company of the defendant on your behalf. Talk freely with a reliable auto accident lawyer to leverage his/her skills for the best claim settlement deal.