What is the Settlement Value of My Car Accident Claim?

If you have been involved in a serious car accident and you received immediate medical care for your injuries, you may be wondering how much your claim is worth? The truth is that the value of your award or settlement is based on a wide range of factors.

Determining Fault

In order to collect financial compensation from a car accident claim or lawsuit, you must prove the other driver is liable (i.e., responsible) for causing the accident.

In order to succeed in court, the following four elements must exist:

  1. The at-fault driver (the defendant) owed you a duty of care, such as operating their vehicle in a safe manner and following the traffic laws.
  2. The at-fault driver breached their duty of care because of negligence, such as driving in a dangerous and reckless manner or violating the law (e.g., speeding, texting while driving, running a red light or stop sign, etc.)
  3. The at-fault driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the crash and your injuries.
  4. You (the plaintiff) suffered monetary damages as a result of the collision caused by the defendant. Common forms of damages include economic losses, noneconomic losses, and future losses.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the out-of-pocket expenses you suffered from the collision and your injuries.

Common types of economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses (e.g., ambulance bill, emergency room treatment, surgery, hospital stay, x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs, physical therapy, etc.)
  • Lost wages for missing time from work in order to recover from the injury
  • Property damage, such as vehicle damage and broken items inside the vehicle

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages consist of intangible losses that do not leave a paper trail that amounts to dollars. In some cases, noneconomic damages far exceed the amount of economic damages.

Common types of noneconomic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering derived from the emotional distress and physical discomfort you have endured after the crash
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from being involved in a devastating collision resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries
  • Disfigurement such as burns or visible scars
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Future Losses

If you suffered a long-term physical, mental, or emotional injury, a disability, or even chronic pain due to the crash, you may be entitled to future losses. Additionally, if you cannot return to your normal job duties, or you are forced to work fewer hours or take a lower-paying job, you could obtain damages for loss of earning capacity.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Burbank or within Los Angeles County, call Block LLP at (818) 740-5335 or fill out our online contact form to request a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case!