You’ve gotten into an accident and you’re wondering if you should take the other party to court. Before you make a decision, you want to have an idea of the kind of compensation you might be entitled to if you win.
Here are some things you can do and questions you can ask to help you along with that decision.
Consult with a lawyer
Having a chat with a lawyer will help you save time and money. Firstly, a lawyer will be able to say after hearing the facts of your accident whether you have a case or not.
It’s unlikely you’ll be charged for this first consultation, so you lose nothing. Specialist personal injury lawyers may be best, like this firm that is knowledgeable about truckers rules and regulations in Los Angeles, or any other area you happen to be in. A lawyer will also be able to quantify the amount of compensation you will be entitled to if you have a valid case.
They’ll also be able to describe the entire process to you, including the length of time between filing your case and settlement. They will also tell you when it may be a good idea to accept an out-of-court settlement from the other party.
Use a personal injury settlement calculator
There are several of these available on like and they can give you a ballpark figure depending on the information you supply. The actual compensation may be higher or lower.
They normally ask you to input information such as the number of your medical bills now and what they are likely to be in the future, lost time from work, cost of repairs to your vehicle, or the cost of replacing it. The calculator may also include a section on pain and emotional distress as well as something called a multiplier.
The multiplier is the factor by which your expenses are multiplied to come up with an overall damages figure. Remember, this can be significantly higher or lower than the figure you may eventually be rewarded. Therefore, it’s important to not celebrate prematurely or become discouraged by the sum. When in doubt, speak to a lawyer about the estimate to get a more accurate reflection.
Answer the following questions
In addition to the above, your decision will be easier once you consider the following:
What’s the statute of limitations for accidents in your area?
A statute of limitations is a time limit by which you must decide to prosecute a matter or take it to court. Unless you have exceptional circumstances, you will lose the ability to do so after this deadline has passed.
The time limit differs according to where you are. If you’re thinking about suing someone for an accident you were involved in, you need to do your research and get moving if you want to meet the deadline.
Do you have insurance coverage?
Strangely enough, having insurance coverage may be a factor in your favor if considering a personal injury suit and possible compensation. Having insurance ups the possibility of your being compensated. So if you were up to date with your vehicle insurance payments, great job.
If the other party is insured, this also increases your chances of receiving good compensation for an accident. Conversely, if the other party is uninsured, even if you have a good case, you may have trouble getting the compensation you deserve.
You may have to decide whether you want to go through the trouble of taking them to court and if a private settlement might not be better.
What is the extent of your injuries?
As a general rule of thumb, if your injuries are slight and you can resume regular life soon after the accident, your compensation is likely to be less. If your injuries have long-lasting effects or have permanently debilitated you, your compensation will be greater. Any pain, suffering, or mental anguish you may have experienced will also be taken into account.
Do you have a lawyer?
Your answer to this question is important for several reasons. It is a fact that accident victims with lawyers earn far more in compensation than those without. This is regardless of whether the eventual settlement amount is high or low.
Studies on the issue have shown that having a lawyer will get you between 3 to 3.5 times more than someone who decides not to hire one.
A lawyer will also be able to inform you of various strategies to take and understand how best to use your evidence and the facts of your case to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you need to know anything about compensation after a car accident, this is the best way to go about getting the information. If you are injured in an accident, especially if it’s not your fault, you are entitled to find out how much you are owed in compensation.