How Much Can I Get for a Car Accident Settlement?
January 10, 2019 / Vehicle Accidents
If you’ve been seriously injured in an Indiana vehicle accident, you may be affected in any number of ways. You may be temporarily or permanently disabled. You may have suffered serious scarring and/or chronic pain and you may have lost a lot of time at work, perhaps so much that you lost your job. You may be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, but how much?
There are many factors that determine what a settlement may be worth, but they mostly boil down to the facts, the law and the strength of the evidence supporting your claims.
In most vehicle collision cases, the plaintiff (the party filing the suit) sues the defendant (the party accused of causing the accident, whose insurance company normally pays for a legal defense, settlement or verdict, up to the policy limits) for negligence (unless there’s evidence the plaintiff was intentionally struck).
Negligence is a legal theory by which the plaintiff needs to prove these things:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty (to drive in a reasonable, safe way in a reasonably safe vehicle);
- The defendant breached that duty in some way (drove while intoxicated, was speeding, drove through a stop sign, etc.);
- That breach was the factual and proximate (or legal) cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting injuries; and
- Under Indiana law, the defendant has a legal obligation to compensate the plaintiff for his or her damages (the measurement in dollars of the harm done).
Under Indiana law, you can’t win a negligence case if your own negligence was a greater cause of the accident than that of the other party. If a jury finds that you were one-third responsible for the accident, you can still obtain damages, but they would be reduced by your share of the blame (by a third).
After a client retains our services, we perform a full investigation to uncover the most important factor, the facts. The value of accident cases is driven by the facts, including how the accident was caused, who is at fault for what, the extent of your injuries, your past, present and expected future medical bills and how long any disabilities are expected to last. It’s rare that a case’s outcome will be determined by some untested part of negligence or insurance law.
The greater the physical harm and the longer it’s expected to last, the greater your injuries’ impact on your life, the greater your medical bills, the stronger the evidence that the other party is at fault, the more your case is worth and the larger the settlement should be.
Would you like to settle for a million dollars? Of course. Would you like to suffer the lifelong, severe disabilities, chronic pain and probably life-shortening injuries needed to justify a million-dollar settlement? Of course not.
We may be able to give you an idea what your car accident case may be worth in settlement after we discuss your situation, the applicable laws and the evidence supporting your claim. Contact our office for a free consultation so we can start the conversation.