Auto collision injury claims are the most prevalent of negligence and injury cases filed across the country. Because of the sheer number of vehicles on the roadways, there are millions of car crashes each year resulting in 30,000 to 40,000 fatalities annually and about 5 million more injuries. From such a vast databank and based on personal experience from years of handling such claims, car wreck attorneys can generally give you a range regarding the value of your claim.
There are a number of factors your attorney will look at before giving you an educated estimate, though they will quickly point out that not all cases are the same and that no guarantees can be made about any case.
Some of the standard factors your attorney may consider include:
These aspects of a claim are also considered by insurance adjusters and defense attorneys in determining the value of a claim. They may also look at the experience of the plaintiff’s attorney and whether the attorney has a record of taking cases to trial or simply settles all cases.
Mostly, however, a claim’s value is dependent on strength of liability, causation and the extent of the injuries sustained by the victim. The character of the claimant can play a substantial role as well.
Unless your accident was a rear-end collision or a head-on from a wrong way driver, you may be facing difficulties in proving the other party was negligent. Intersection accidents or ones involving unsafe lane changes are hard to prove unless there are independent and unbiased witnesses.
Equally difficult are cases where there is minimal property damage and you claim extensive injuries, especially whiplash or soft tissue injuries. These are back and neck strains that x-rays and MRIs are usually unable to verify but that can be very painful and prolonged and can sometimes lead to more serious injuries. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers are naturally suspicious of such injuries or their extent in cases where cars sustain minor damage and the claimant’s physical symptoms are generally subjective. This also goes to the issue of causation since defendants will argue that any claimed injuries could not have been caused by the low impact nature of the accident.
You may also have had a pre-existing injury that you may not have disclosed or now claim was made worse by the crash. Although you can obtain compensation for exacerbating a pre-existing injury, you will need testimony from a medical expert regarding apportioning the injury.
Defendant attorneys and adjusters will want to know details about your character. If you have a criminal record, especially one involving felonies or fraud, or have a history of bringing numerous injury claims, then your current claim’s value may be diminished unless your injuries are evident and extensive. Further, if you failed to disclose a previous or similar injury or that you committed a felony, your character and veracity will be impugned.
Other features of your character that can devalue a claim include lack of employment history, drug or domestic violence issues and inability to hold a job. On the other hand, if you work to support a family, have worked without interruptions and are active in community activities, routinely attend church or other religious services or served honorably in the military, then your character can enhance your chances of obtaining more for your injury claim.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or lost a loved one in a fatal crash, you need a dedicated team of attorneys and legal professionals fighting for your rights. Our attorneys have a long and proven record of helping the victims of car accidents get the compensation they deserve.
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