Looking at the Factors in a Car Accident Settlement
Injured victims regularly call our offices wondering whether it is worth their time to seek compensation after a car accident.
We try to find out more about the accident and to understand the extent of their injuries.
There is no simple way to estimate the amount you can receive in a settlement. Instead, you should analyze the following factors.
Calculate Your Economic Losses
You can receive compensation to replace any sums spent as a result of the accident. For example, you can receive money for:
- Medical bills, for treatment by a doctor or hospital, prescription drugs, medical equipment, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages, if you could not work while you recovered from your injuries
- Damage to your vehicle
You can easily estimate the amount by gathering all medical bills, receipts, pay stubs, proof of self-employment income, and vehicle repair estimates. Add up the amounts. This represents your economic losses.
Analyze Your Non-Economic Losses
Injured motorists can also receive compensation for non-economic harms, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These losses are harder to estimate. Nevertheless, you can estimate the amount of compensation by multiplying your economic losses (listed above) by 1.5-5. For example, you might have spent $10,000 on medical treatment and lost wages. Typically, you could receive another $15,000-$50,000 in and suffering and emotional distress, but a lot will depend on the circumstances.
Reduce the Amount by Your Percentage of Fault
Sometimes, motorists contribute to their own accidents by being negligent themselves. For example, you might have been reading a text while driving in the seconds before someone slams into you. Here, your own carelessness probably contributed to the crash.
Wondering How Much Your Car Accident is Worth?
We provide free consultations for our clients. Our team is ready to go to work for you today.
In Georgia, you will not receive anything if you are at least 50 percent responsible for the collision. However, if you are 49 percent responsible or less, you can still receive compensation, but the amount will be reduced by your proportion of fault.
For example, you might have suffered $25,000 in economic and non-economic losses. If you were about 40 percent responsible for the crash, you will receive $15,000.
Technically, contributory negligence is only a bar in lawsuits, but you can expect a defendant to raise the issue in settlement negotiations as well.
Consider Other Factors by Meeting with a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Other factors that will influence the amount you can receive include:
- How much insurance the defendant has. If the driver was uninsured, or if they only had a policy with the state’s minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, then it could be hard to receive more unless the defendant has substantial assets, like cash in a bank.
- Proof that the defendant was the blame. Sometimes, it is not always clear who is to blame for an accident. If you have only weak evidence that the other driver is responsible, you might need to reduce the amount you are willing to settle for.
Every car accident is different, so only a qualified car accident attorney can offer individualized advice. To schedule a free consultation with an Athens car accident lawyer at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, please call 706-354-4000 or submit an online message.
We have obtained many favorable settlements for clients, including a $1.25 million settlement for a client killed by a company van.