Can You Settle? Understanding Your Settlement Potential

After a wreck, the driver who caused the wreck may owe you compensation. Accidents that result in injuries deserve money compensation and you might be offered a settlement. This way of getting paid is both fast and convenient. To find out what your settlement potential might be, read on.

Liability and Fault

The other driver must be at-fault for the accident for victims to be paid. That is known as liability. When the other driver is at fault, they are liable for your damages. Those damages include medical expenses, lost wages from a job, personal property and vehicle losses, and pain and suffering. If both drivers share fault for the accident, the chances of compensation for either one are reduced considerably. If fault is very clear, a settlement offer may be forthcoming from the other driver's insurer in a matter of weeks after the accident.

Evidence and Demands

When it comes to vehicle accidents, evidence is a key factor in the amount and how quickly victims are paid. Once you speak to a personal injury lawyer, your case is evaluated using the evidence at hand. That might include accident reports, photos, medical records, and eye-witness statements. Evidence should support both fault and damages. For example, fault might be proven using the accident report since responding law enforcement officers commonly do an initial investigation as to who caused the wreck and summarize their findings on the report. One of your lawyer's first moves is to send the other side a demand letter listing evidence and asking for a settlement.

Other Factors Affecting Settlements

Take look at a few other important factors that may affect the speed and amount of any settlement offers:

  1. The complexity of the accident. If more than two cars were involved, it can get complicated and lead to a trial.
  2. Liability issues. If the other side is blaming a third party for the accident, it can take a lot longer to settle things. For example, the other driver might allege that their brakes failed and that was what caused the wreck.
  3. Other similar cases in your area and how they settled.
  4. The injuries you receive as a result of the accident can greatly influence how much you are paid. More serious injuries with large medical expense costs can result in higher pain and suffering awards. If the victim has permanent injuries, the amount of the payment must take into consideration a lifetime need for income and future medical expenses. This can make it more difficult to settle since it involves getting expert opinions on future medical costs and the economic impact for a disabled victim.

For more information about settlements and the factors that affect them, speak to a personal injury lawyer.