What Critical Factors Influence the Value of My Car Crash Claim?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on April 6, 2023 in Car Accidents
When seeking compensation for damages due to a negligent driver, there are critical factors that influence your car crash claim value.
Below, PKSD discusses the top factors that can have a positive or negative impact on the value of your car crash claim.
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What Factors Can Impact My Car Crash Claim Value?
There are multiple factors in every case that can affect the value of a car crash claim. Anything that impacts your claim’s value will also affect the amount of compensation you receive. Some of the factors that have the most impact include:
Injuries – Both the Type and Severity
One of the top factors that could impact the value of your car crash claim has to do with the type and severity of your injuries. Some victims may sustain injuries that heal relatively quickly. These individuals may return to their former lives without the need for additional treatments. Since less treatment or time off from work is required in this type of situation, the claim would be of lesser value.
Victims with catastrophic or life-altering injuries, however, would have a much higher-valued claim. This is because the costs associated with treating a victim with injuries this severe are far greater than for someone with a neck sprain and strain.
In addition to the type and severity of injuries sustained, your claim’s value will also be determined by the costs and other damages incurred.
For instance, victims with a neck sprain and strain may need much less medical treatment. For instance, they may get some physical therapy and require a few weeks off to recover at home. Victims with severe or permanent injuries, however, would need significant treatment, long-term care and other assistance.
For example, someone with a catastrophic spinal cord injury might need:
- Physical therapy
- Pain management
- Wheelchair to help with mobility
- Around-the-clock care
- Home modifications to allow more independence
- Lost wages
- Future expenses
- And more
Damages for victims with catastrophic injuries are costly. These losses are easily calculated using invoices, employer pay stubs and other tangible evidence. Since the costs are more, the value of a claim is also greater, as is the amount of compensation to the victim.
Additional pain and suffering damages may also apply. However, placing a value on non-economic damages is harder, because there is no tangible evidence.
Non-economic damages may include things such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Physical impairment
- Disfigurement and/or scarring
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of independence
- Physical pain and suffering
- Sexual dysfunction
- Embarrassment or humiliation
- And more
An experienced attorney knows how to accurately put an accurate calculate on these damages. This expertise may help to ensure victims recover full and fair compensation.
Liability for the Crash
In order to be eligible to recover damages, there must be evidence of negligence. Your attorney would need to establish the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, violated that duty and caused the crash. Your attorney would also need to prove that but for the accident, you would not have suffered injuries or sustained damages, such as medical costs and lost wages.
If negligence cannot be established, then there is no case and you would not qualify to file a lawsuit for your damages.
In some crashes, victims may be assessed with some fault for what happened. Often, the insurance company will look for ways to shift blame onto the victim. Less liability for their insured means a smaller payout to you.
The benefit of having legal help means you have someone who will fight to ensure you are not unfairly assessed with liability.
Insurance Coverage Available
Many drivers choose only to get the minimum insurance coverage required by the state they live in. For residents in Wisconsin, this means:
- $25,000/$50,000 (per person/per incident) – Bodily injury liability
- $10,000 Property damage
If a crash occurs, the minimum insurance coverage will help, but it will not go far. If the liable party only carries minimum insurance coverage, it could impact how much of your damages will be covered. The at-fault party’s insurance company is not obligated to pay you more than the coverage purchased by their policyholder.
Mistakes Victims Make That Can Seriously Hurt Their Claim
While pursuing a claim against the liable party, injured victims often make mistakes that damage their claims. These errors are more likely to occur when injured victims try to recover damages without the help of an attorney. Since most policyholders do not know all their rights, the insurance company may significantly underpay the victim. When this happens, the accident victim gets stuck with paying for damages.
Some of the most common mistakes car crash victims make include:
- Not seeking medical treatment after a crash – The insurance company loves when this happens. It gives them the opportunity to argue the victim’s injuries were not caused by their policyholder.
- Making statements that hurt their claim – The insurance company will try to use statements, such as, “I’m sorry” against victims. Using your words against you is yet another tactic to try to damage the value of your car crash claim.
- Ignoring the doctor’s care plan – Participating in activities that could worsen injuries or delay your recovery is not looked on favorably by insurance companies. The insurer could argue you made your injuries worse and you therefore should not be eligible for compensation.
- Lying about preexisting conditions – It is not an issue to have preexisting conditions in an injury claim. However, lying about them is a huge problem. It typically backfires on the victim, damaging their credibility and their claim.
- Not protecting claim confidentiality – Some victims may post about the crash, their injuries or even the amount of compensation they expect to recover. Unfortunately, posting publicly on social media during a legal case is a bad idea. Even if you think your posts are innocent, they can badly damage to your claim.
- Not hiring an experienced attorney – Having an experienced attorney handling your claim means having someone to give you legal guidance. It can help you to avoid making damaging mistakes and also help ensure your best interests are protected.
Contact PKSD for Legal Help You Can Trust
Our car crash attorneys at PKSD work hard to recover the maximum possible compensation for our clients. Insurance companies do not do this, however. Their goals are different because they need to protect their bottom line.
We have the same goal as you do, which is why we work hard to protect the value of your car crash claim. If we are not successful, we do not get paid. In addition to having the same goals, our legal team at PKSD is also highly trained and has extensive knowledge of the legal system. We handle injury cases every day and have a strong history of success.
Even if you are unsure whether you have a case, we encourage you to seek legal help after a crash. Since your initial consultation is free, there is zero risk to you. If our firm represents you, there is also nothing for you to pay up front.
Millions recovered for our clients. 877-877-2228