How Much Should I Ask For in a Car Accident Settlement?
We cannot state a dollar amount to represent how much you should ask for in a car accident settlement because every case is different. The amount of compensation that you might be able to pursue will depend on the facts of your situation. Our team will have to talk with you and investigate your car accident to determine the appropriate range of settlement for your injury claim.
The complexities involving car accident settlements can vary from person to person, even if they are all in the same vehicle. For example, let’s say there were four people in your car. Your injuries may not all be the same. You may not all recuperate from those injuries in an identical manner, which means you could require a different amount of medical care and otherwise. Some of you might heal well and achieve the full measure of strength and function you had prior to the car accident, while others might face a lifetime of discomfort and disability.
Recoverable Damages in Car Accidents
Every case is unique. There is no flat rate of damages for car accident injury claims. To determine the value of your case, we will evaluate your economic and noneconomic losses. Once we put these numbers together, we are able to determine what to aim for in terms of a fair settlement.
These items are relatively easy to measure in dollars because they often come with invoices, receipts, or other papers that establish a monetary value. Some of the economic damages we have won for our car accident clients include:
- Medical expenses: You may recover the reasonable cost of the treatment you need for your injuries. This category can include things like fees for the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, x-rays, surgery, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages: You may recover the amount of income you lost if you missed work without pay because of the accident and your injuries. Wages, salary, self-employment, and other forms of regular income can fit into this category.
- Diminished earning capacity: Sometimes, severe injuries force a person to work fewer hours or take a lower-paying job. The difference between the previous income and the earnings after the accident may be part of the settlement.
- Long-term care: Catastrophic injuries can leave a person unable to perform daily medical treatments or personal care without ongoing assistance. In these situations, the injured person might need long-term care in the home or at a facility. These bills can become astronomically high quickly.
You might have additional out-of-pocket or economic losses that can be compensable.
Noneconomic losses are damages that may also be called intangible losses. Noneconomic losses typically do not have a paper trail that sets a dollar value for car accident settlements. These damages may, however, be a valuable part of your injury claim if we are able to support them with evidence.
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress of getting hurt and the inconvenience of the medical treatments and recuperation.
- Prominent scars, which can be permanent per MedlinePlus, may have significant value in your claim.
- After a devastating injury robs a person of the ability to engage in activities they previously enjoyed, the injured person could experience loss of the enjoyment of life.
These are but a few examples of the types of economic and noneconomic damages that may be a part of your car accident settlement.
How to Establish Liability of the At-Fault Party
Before we can go after compensation from someone, we have to show that the person is legally liable for your losses. We will have to prove all four of these factors to hold someone responsible:
- The party owed you a duty of care: Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on a public street has the responsibility to obey the traffic laws.
- The person breached the duty: When a person’s conduct does not measure up to the legal standard, the individual is negligent. For example, driving while impaired violates traffic laws and is unlawful per Code of Virginia § 18.2-266.
- The careless conduct must be the cause of the accident that harmed you: If the defendant passed out at the wheel due to intoxication and crashed into your car as a result, their negligence caused the collision.
- You sustained damages from the accident: You must have suffered some sort of physical, emotional, and economic damage due to the accident.
Your medical bills are a typical way to prove that you had physical injuries from the accident.
How to Get Legal Help for Your Car Accident Claim
Determining how much to ask for in regards to your car accident settlement is difficult. Luckily, you do not have to figure it out on your own! The founder of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, Jim Parrish, used to work closely with insurance companies, so he knows how to calculate damages and negotiate with insurers.
At the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, we help people who get hurt because of the carelessness of others. We work hard to hold the negligent party responsible for the harm you suffered. Our goal is to get you the fair settlement that you deserve, not what the insurance company wants to pay you.
You do not have to pay upfront legal fees for us to help you. We handle car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means we get paid out of the settlement proceeds or award at the end of the matter.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation, at (571) 229-1800. There is no obligation.
Car Accident eBook [Free Download]
Unsure about what to do after a car accident or have questions regarding your auto accident case that remain unanswered? Download our free Virginia Car Accident Guide eBook or give us a call at (571) 229 – 1800. Representation in jurisdictions where we are not already licensed is performed in conjunction with local counsel–at no additional legal fees to the client–and with permission of the court.