How do settlements for car accidents work?

Law Offices of Steven Zwick
Aug 04 2021

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are approximately six million auto accidents on US roads annually. Car crashes that occur through no fault of your own can leave you hassling with issues that you never thought you would have to deal with. Rising medical bills, excruciating pain, wage loss are just a fraction of the issues you are entitled to seek compensation for from the party responsible.

Settlements for car accidents can reimburse the money you’ve already spent seeking treatment. They may also cover lost wages, physical and psychological trauma. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney may increase your odds of a successful negotiation for the compensation you deserve.

How a Car Accident Attorney
Can Help Your Settlement Negotiations

While it is possible to settle your case directly with the insurance company, it is not advisable. An experienced auto accident lawyer can ensure that you get fair compensation for the injuries sustained. An attorney can assist you in calculating the compensation correctly to file with the insurance company.

Additionally, if it is your first time handling a legal issue, it can be intimidating to face a battery of lawyers representing the insurance company requesting a larger payout. You can rely on the negotiation skills of the car accident lawyer to increase your odds at a fair settlement.

Calculating Settlements
for Car Accidents

You may be able to receive compensation for actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, and diminished value of the vehicle after the repair. You may also receive compensation for pain and loss of enjoyment of life. The compensation received may vary depending on various factors, including the severity of the injury, amount of pain, duration of the pain, pre-existing conditions, potential future complications, among many others.

The insurance industry doesn’t follow a specific formula when calculating the value of the settlement. A seasoned injury lawyer may provide you with a run-down of formulas and cost factors that may give a viable estimate. Non-economic damages such as emotional distress are often difficult to calculate.

Deciding to Settle or Head to Trial

95-96% of personal injury cases are settled pre-trial. Settlements for car accidents are fairly common as a trial is an unpredictable path for both parties. You, as the plaintiff, may receive a final award that may not be as high as you would like, and the insurer also runs the risk of a higher payout after trial.

No one can force either party to a settlement. If the insurance company and the plaintiff do not agree on a settlement, the case may move to trial. During the trial, the parties can still agree at any time to negotiate a settlement. As such, the negotiation process for settlements for car accidents is always active.

How are Settlements for
Car Accidents Processed?

Generally, the insurance company and their lawyers may have to prepare a release. This is a contract that indicates that the plaintiff is ready to accept a certain monetary compensation. In return, they give up the right to sue the defendant if the release is in agreeable form, the plaintiff signs, and the insurance company processes the claim.

Having a personal injury law firm by your side can help you understand the process involved during settlements for car accidents. To discuss the specifics regarding your case, reach out to The Law Firm of Steven Zwick.