Settlements for car accidents: what are they and what can you expect?

Law Offices of Steven Zwick
Oct 13 2020

In 2018, California saw 3,651 deaths from motor vehicle accidents, and throughout the United States, there are over 6 million car accidents every year. This translates to roughly 6,000 accidents every day. With so many accidents happening across the nation, it’s important to know what your options are if you are involved in one.

After a car accident, many people are concerned with the cost of either car repairs or medical bills. Because of this, many people seek out car accident attorneys to help them get the settlement they are owed, especially if their insurance companies aren’t willing to pay a fair amount. Settlements for car accidents can be difficult to get on your own, and depending on the situation, an attorney will be needed to help assess the claims and get you fair compensation. In order to reach a settlement, the injured party we’ll have to file a personal injury suit against the driver that was at fault for the accident. They can also file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. In order for a driver to be found at fault, their actions leading up to the accident must be judged as negligent in some way. While there are many different negligent actions that can lead to someone being found guilty, they all share a common element and that is that they violated a safe level of driving putting other drivers at risk.

How Fault Is Determined

Before settlements for car accidents can be awarded, fault must be determined, and there are many different ways to do this. One of which includes using the initial police report a piece of strong supporting evidence. After the accident, when the police arrive, they will usually survey the area, examine the trajectory of the vehicles, and gather statements from everyone involved, sometimes including witnesses. All of this information can be used to help determine which driver is at fault for the accident.

In many car accident cases, a court trial is not required, even if you bring your personal injury case to a civil court. This is due to the fact that there is usually enough strong evidence to identify the party at fault without the need for a trial. When enough evidence is brought forth, the defendant and the defendant’s attorney will usually agree that because a judge is unlikely to side with them, reaching a settlement outside of court is the best course of action. When this happens you and your attorney will be able to negotiate for a fair settlement allowing you to get the compensation you deserve.

What Can You Get From a Settlement?

Settlements for car accidents can be separated into two separate categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damage can be applied to anything you paid for as a result of the accident. This can include any lost wages from missed work, emergency room costs, or any other medical treatments that were needed as a result of an injury stemming from the incident. Non-economic damages encompass emotional damage and can include pain and suffering as well as mental trauma — such as PTSD — caused by the accident. While non-economic damages can be the hardest to prove and get compensation for, often their effects can be even more devastating than the physical injuries. Because of this, it is important to work with your attorney so that you can get the settlement that you deserve for all of your damages.

If you have been injured in a car accident that you are not at fault for, consider reaching out to an attorney for a consultation. Settlements for car accidents can be highly beneficial for those injured in a wreck, and it is imperative that you utilize a professional to help you get the compensation you deserve. While all car accident claims are handled on a case-by-case basis, and there is no one-size-fits-all settlement, with a professional on your side you’ll have a better chance of getting the help and the settlement you need sooner rather than later.