How Much Will I Get In My Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you suffer injuries in a car accident, you will be dealing with recovery from your injuries plus medical bills, inquiries from insurance companies, and the natural emotional distress following an accident. Depending on who is at fault, your expenses may be paid by your own insurance company or that of the other driver.
Insurance companies make money by collecting premium payments. They will avoid spending any more money on a claim than is necessary. That is why you will likely receive an early low-ball settlement offer.
Top accident lawyers are familiar with the tactics of insurance companies when it comes to car accident settlement offers. If you accept a settlement offer, it prevents you from being able to later recover a higher amount in court.
Keep reading to learn how a top injury attorney will be able to increase the amount of your settlement. This is because their years of experience and knowledge of personal injury law, traffic law, and insurance company requirements will allow them to negotiate a settlement comparable to the pain and suffering you endure.
What are some typical car accident settlement amounts?
Typical car accident settlement amounts depends on many variables.
The amount of compensation you receive on your car accident injury claim will depend on various factors. The main area of consideration is the seriousness of your injuries. The second item is how much bodily injury coverage you have on your insurance.
For example, the award for someone who suffers from traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries from an automobile accident will likely receive a higher award than a person who has slip and fall injuries or dog bite injuries. Each type of personal injury claim has its own set of criteria that factor into the settlement.
A person who has a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas will likely suffer a more catastrophic injury following impact with an automobile than the person in the car. These are all factors that help determine a settlement that is fair and appropriate.
When you meet with your car wreck attorney for a free consultation they will provide you with an estimation of what you may be able to recover. Remember this is only an estimate. As the case progresses additional information may affect the settlement amount.
Why You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer
What you receive for reimbursement on medical expenses and the repair or replacement of your vehicle is based on the insurance coverage you purchase. An insurance adjuster may try to lower the medical coverage you receive by claiming your injuries are not as severe as you claim. They may also assert you underwent unnecessary procedures.
Your injury attorney will order medical records and speak with medical experts to obtain a professional opinion of your condition and prognosis for recovery. Permanent life-altering injuries have a greater impact on the amount of compensation you receive. Your attorney will use this medical information in their negotiations.
It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit and many Las Vegas personal injury attorneys are able to obtain an out-of-court settlement. In fact, only about 5% of personal injury cases go to trial. That means 95% of the lawsuits filed due to personal injuries reach a settlement out of court.
Top Accident Lawyers Know Lawsuit Procedures
When you hire a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, they will know court rules, procedures, and law, including the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations regulates how long you have following an accident to file a lawsuit.
When filing a lawsuit your attorney must prove specific elements of negligence on the part of the other driver. This includes showing that the other driver had a duty to drive in a safe and prudent manner and that in breaching that duty their actions are the direct and proximate cause of the injuries you suffer. Because of that breach, they have a responsibility to pay you damages.
Following the filing of a lawsuit, the attorney will proceed through the discovery process, which may include conducting depositions of witnesses, medical professionals, and the other driver. Your lawyer will subpoena medical records, police reports, demand discovery from the opposing party, and make sure that your rights are protected. If necessary, they will present your case in a trial.
Trial prep is a lengthy process. Your attorney will subpoena those who must testify. They will prepare exhibit and witness lists and file them with the court. Your attorney will also prepare exhibits for court.
At trial, your attorney will participate in jury selection. They will know proper legal procedures for trial, including presenting an opening statement, questioning witnesses. The will give a closing statement that puts your case in the most favorable position.
Getting the Largest Settlement Possible
The largest payouts on typical car accident settlement amounts are for serious injuries. Litigation can take months or years so it is important you put into writing soon after the accident everything you remember. This includes placement of vehicles, weather, traffic conditions, and any statements made by others on the scene.
With any injury, you need to maintain all evidence. This includes photographs from the accident scene, police reports, copies of medical records and bills, x-rays, and other tests documenting your condition.
You must comply with all recommendations for follow-up medical treatment. This includes physical therapy treatments. If you are experiencing pain, inform your medical professional.
When a settlement is being negotiated, the following will be given consideration:
- The severity of your injuries and their long-term permanent effect on your quality of life
- Your financial losses including medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and property damage
- Your medical expenses now and in the future
- The percentage you are at fault in the accident
- Your ability to work in the future
- Amount of insurance coverage your and/or the other driver has
- The laws of your state regarding accident injury compensation
Replacement services are those things you normally do for yourself, but because of your injuries are unable to handle. This includes things such as housecleaning, transportation, cooking, yard work, and more.
A general way to calculate the value of your case is to take what your medical bills cost you out of pocket, any medical lien amounts, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This amount will undergo a reduction by the percentage if any, that you are at fault.
What Does an Auto Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most attorneys handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay any attorney fees until they win your case. The contingency agreement you sign when hiring your auto injury lawyer will specify the agreement terms.
Clark County and Las Vegas personal injury lawyers usually charge a 40% contingency fee. While this is not a state requirement, it is the most preferable. This is because if you do not win your case you owe no attorney fees.
Your contingency contract will show exactly what expenses you will be responsible for. When the settlement payment arrives your attorney will make appropriate deductions and specify those in the closing statement you receive with your payment.
For instance, if you win a $300,000 settlement, your attorney will receive attorney fees of $120,000. Then if there are additional expenses, those will be deducted from the remaining $180,000.
Let’s say there are $500 in court filing fees, $50,000 in medical liens, $2,000 in deposition and transcript costs, and $250 in office expenses. The $127,250 that is left after paying these expenses is what you will receive.
What if I Die While the Lawsuit Is Pending?
Whenever a person who incurs injuries as the result of another person’s negligence dies while a lawsuit is pending, their estate and heirs will receive the compensation award in a car accident injury lawsuit.
If the reason for the death is due to injuries from the accident, a wrongful death attorney may be able to file a lawsuit. In the case of wrongful death, the closest living relative of the deceased will be the plaintiff.
What Do I Bring To Free Initial Consultations?
When you are meeting with a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, you need to bring with you all documentation that pertains to your case. This includes the following:
- Copies of all medical records
- Copies of all medical bills
- Police Report
- Photographs of the accident
- Photos taken of your injuries
- Your auto insurance information
- Any information you have on the other driver and their insurance
- Information on any witnesses and their contact information
- Any other information that pertains to your case
A top injury attorney will review the documents you provide and ask questions about you, your condition, and the accident. You will have an opportunity to ask them questions.
Inquire as to whether there is a legal assistant or paralegal that you may use as a point of contact. Often attorneys are in court but their staff is available.
Hire Top Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one are suffering from injuries received in an automobile accident, schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Heidari Law Group. Our top accident lawyers have experience in all areas of accident and injury cases to help you receive the best settlement possible.
Whether you are suffering injuries from an accident, medical malpractice, vaccine injury, nursing home neglect, product liability, or more, contact our office for a 100% free consultation. You may also call any of our four locations or email us at info@HeidariLawGroup.com.
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.