No two vehicle accidents occur under identical circumstances or have identical outcomes. That means no two settlements are identical, either. Even within the same state, settlement amounts can vary hugely. Only by consulting with a car accident lawyer can you get a specific idea of the compensation you may be entitled to. However, this article will explain some of the factors that determine the value of your car accident claim.
What Factors Impact the Value of Your Personal Injury Settlement?
First, let’s go over what a settlement is.
When you’re injured in an auto accident in Oklahoma, the person who caused the crash may be liable for compensating you. While personal injury lawsuits can arise, it’s more common for injury victims to make a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The process of negotiating with the insurance company, which occurs outside of court, often results in a settlement. If the insurer is unwilling to make a reasonable offer that adequately compensates the victim’s losses and expenses, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit and go to trial.
There are numerous factors that impact the amount of a car accident settlement, which is one of the reasons it’s important that you are represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer during settlement negotiations. Remember, insurance companies are profit-oriented, and will look for any excuse to deny liability or make a low offer, no matter how friendly or helpful the claims adjuster seems. Determining factors include:
- The extent to which you were at fault. You can be compensated for a car accident even if you were partially at fault, a topic we covered in detail in our article on getting compensated for a partial fault car accident. However, being at partial fault for an accident will cause your compensation to be reduced accordingly.
- Your medical expenses. Car accident victims can be compensated for a range of medical expenses, including surgery, ambulance rides, prescription drugs, physical therapy, hospitalization, and medical equipment like crutches or wheelchairs.
- The severity and permanence of your injury. You can receive a higher amount if you suffered a long-term or permanently disabling injury and are unable to earn income as a result. Settlements for minor injuries, such as sprains (torn ligaments) and strains (muscle tears), are lower because the victim’s resulting medical costs are lower. Settlements factor in not only the costs you have already incurred, but also your future, anticipated costs and losses.
- The type of treatment you received. Insurance companies will only reimburse medical expenses deemed reasonable and necessary. It’s a common tactic for insurers to say that certain treatments fall outside of this description, particularly alternative therapies that aren’t considered part of Western medicine.
- The duration of your treatment. Insurers consider factors like how many doctor appointments you made, how many weeks or months of medication you were prescribed, and how long you will need medical care.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Schedule a Consultation
The victims of negligence have legal rights. If you were hit by a car or injured in a car crash, you should strongly consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the possibility of getting compensated for your expenses. Your attorney will represent you during settlement negotiations, compile evidence of your injuries and their causes, and handle all of your legal paperwork, so that you can focus on resting and making a recovery – not fighting with an unreasonable insurance company.
Hasbrook & Hasbrook has over half a century of combined experience representing injury victims in Oklahoma. For over 75 years, Oklahoma car crash victims have turned to our trusted and knowledgeable team of attorneys to provide aggressive legal representation for rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, parking lot accidents, lane change accidents, intersection accidents, and other types of crashes. We handle claims in Oklahoma City and the surrounding communities, including Edmond, Norman, El Reno, Stillwater, Moore, Shawnee, Chickasha, and more.
To set up a free legal consultation with Hasbrook & Hasbrook, call our law offices at (405) 235-1551. We’re here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you exercise your legal rights as an injury victim.