Every car accident claimant wants to recover financial compensation for the damages they’ve sustained. However, the question of what actually constitutes a good or fair settlement offer is a bit tricky–there are multiple factors to be considered for each individual claim, which we will discuss below. We must first mention, though, that the best way to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement is to retain a trusted car accident attorney, such as those from Van Law Firm--they will have the experience and resources to help you get the most out of your claim.
Have I Received a Fair Settlement Offer?
The number one thing that you should do when thinking about settlement offers is to forget the outlandish stories and headlines you may have seen of people being awarded huge sums of money for seemingly small accidents, such as the highly-publicized case of the woman who received millions after a McDonald’s hot coffee spill. You should disregard these cases because they are not representative of the norm–the reason why they garner so much attention is because they are unusual, and not applicable to most cases. Simply put, sometimes strange things happen, but you shouldn’t base your expectations on one-off results.
Instead, it’s better to consider the facts of the case and the applicable laws surrounding it when determining a proper settlement value. Generally speaking, most attorneys and courts adhere to established case law when trying to assign value to a particular claim. This figure is presented as a range that is considered to be reasonable for the accident at hand–some claims will settle at a figure near the top of that range and others will be toward the bottom.
What Determines the Value of a Car Accident Claim?
One of the biggest things to consider when determining a settlement value for a claim has to do with the liability of those involved. Essentially, if it is determined that the defendant was clearly and solely responsible for the accident, you will receive much more than you would if it was less obvious. Furthermore, if you are found to be partially liable yourself, you will certainly not receive the full value of your damages, and some states even have laws that mandate this.
Another factor that plays a large role in how much a claimant may receive is the total number of parties involved in proceedings. It is not uncommon for car accident claims to feature multiple claimants, especially for large accidents and crashes involving trucks and commercial vehicles. If a defendant has to pay multiple claimants, his or her policy limits will only stretch so far, and the amount allotted to each party will likely not constitute the full amount of their damages. In such a case, you will likely have to utilize your own insurance coverage to make up the difference.
One last thing to consider when talking about settlements is the severity of the claimant’s injuries, and how many forms of compensation they may be eligible to receive. Broadly speaking, if a plaintiff suffers severe injuries, it increases their chances of receiving non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. Minor injuries generally don’t constitute additional compensation aside from standard medical reimbursement. The bigger the injuries, the more forms of damages, which results in a higher settlement.
Questions About Potential Settlements? Van Law Firm Can Help
If you need help determining whether or not you’ve received a fair settlement offer for your car accident claim, don’t hesitate to contact Van Law Firm today. Our award-winning car accident attorneys can evaluate your claim and determine a settlement value that will ensure you are properly compensated. Call our office nearest you now to schedule a confidential, no-risk consultation.