Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
What You Need To Know About Settling An Auto Accident Claim
When someone is injured in a car accident, they may seek compensation for damages they sustained by filing an injury claim against the person who caused the accident. Attorneys who handle auto accident claims work with persons involved in auto accidents to pursue such injury cases every day. Resolving these claims requires more than simply contacting the insurance company and requesting compensation. Lawyers who represent injured car accident victims gather information regarding the cause of the accident and documents to support the injury claim before submitting a demand and seeking a fair settlement.
Type of Injury and Claim Settlement Value
Hundreds of thousands of auto accidents occur every day across the United States causing a varying range of injuries. In 2014, there were over six million vehicle crashes reported by police authorities. These incidents resulted in more than 32,000 fatalities and over 2,300,000 injuries.1 An injury claim can be filed by vehicle occupants no matter how small or large their claim may be; however settlement values are affected by the type and severity of physical injuries resulting from the accident.
It is important for lawyers to gather as much information as possible to properly assess a case before recommending the case be resolved. Information that is considered in determining the value of a claim is the type of treatment needed (i.e. physical therapy versus surgery), the length of treatment, the cost of treatment and the likelihood of a complete recovery. When a person suffers serious injuries from an auto accident that affects their daily activities the value of the claim is generally much higher than a case involving minor, soft tissue injuries.
In Texas, a jury may determine that more than one person is responsible for causing an accident. When a jury determines there is more than one person responsible for an accident it assigns a percentage of responsibility to each person responsible for causing the accident. This is called comparative responsibility. If a jury finds that a claimant is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, the claimant cannot make a recovery from the other parties to the lawsuit. Moreover, if a jury finds that the claimant has any percentage of responsibility for causing the accident, the claimant's recovery is reduced by claimant's percentage of responsibility.
Attorneys who help clients with auto accident claims advise their clients that many factors affect the value of their claim. Some things that can affect the value of a claim include delays in treatment, injuries that pre-existed the accident, consistency in treatment and how the severity of the accident. Therefore, it is important for claimants to work with lawyers who are experienced with handling car accident claims to obtain a fair settlement for their injuries. An attorney will know which facts are most important in valuing a claim and can present those facts to the insurance company to obtain the best settlement.
Actual Damages Incurred
Damages include both injuries and property damage. Injuries may include consideration for both physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, disfigurement and impairment. Generally speaking, the more severe an injury is the more a claimant should be compensated.
It is important for someone injured in a car accident to remember that there are many things that can affect the value of their claim. Reaching a fair resolution requires injured victims seek the services of experienced auto accident attorneys as soon as possible after being involved in an auto accident. It is the recommendation of lawyers who handle car accident claims that anyone injured in a car accident should seek experienced legal help right away.