You’ve probably seen billboards and heard commercials proclaiming the value of a car accident claim. You may even have heard lawyers insisting that you can walk away with millions of dollars from a car accident settlement. While you can certainly recover considerable compensation as part of a car accident claim, however, you must keep in mind the factors that may actually go into determining the value of a car accident settlement.
How much is your claim actually worth? Working with a lawyer can help you understand your right to compensation based on the losses you experienced because of the car accident.
Average Settlement Value for a Georgia Car Accident
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average value of a car accident claim is around $20,235. However, that amount can vary significantly based on a number of factors. Working with a lawyer can help you take a look at the overall value of your claim.
Factors That May Influence Car Accident Settlement Value in Georgia
Multiple factors can influence the overall value of a car accident settlement in Georgia.
1. Who caused the accident?
Often, to determine how much compensation you can recover for a car accident, you will need to start with a look at what factors caused or contributed to your accident. Was your accident caused by another driver? Did a third party contribute to the accident: the driver’s employer, in the case of a driver on the clock, for example? If more than one party contributed to your accident, you may have the right to file a claim against each party that contributed to the accident, which may help increase your settlement value.
2. What insurance coverage does the liable party have?
In Georgia, drivers must carry insurance that provides a minimum of up to $25,000 in bodily injury protection per individual (and $50,000 in protection per accident) and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Many entities, including commercial truck drivers, may carry much higher-value policies that can provide considerable additional compensation. Uber and Lyft drivers, for example, may have policies that offer up to $1 million in protection per accident.
The coverage carried by the liable party can have a huge impact on the compensation you can ultimately recover after a car accident. If you suffer injuries that lead to $100,000 in medical costs, but the liable party only carries $25,000 in bodily injury protection coverage, you may have a hard time recovering further compensation from the insurance company after the accident.
3. What injuries did you suffer in the accident?
Your injuries will form the foundation of your injury claim after an accident. Serious injuries generally mean greater overall expenses related to the accident, including medical costs and lost wages. If you suffer relatively minor injuries, you may have the right to pursue less compensation than you would if you had suffered very severe injuries in the accident.
4. What medical treatment did you require for your injuries?
Suppose that you suffered a broken leg in your Georgia car accident. On the surface, it might seem like a relatively minor injury. However, the treatment for a broken leg can vary dramatically from one patient to the next. Some patients will recover quickly, with little more than a cast and crutches. Others may require much more extensive treatment: surgery to properly set the broken bone, getting around on crutches for a long period of time, and physical therapy once the cast comes off. The second patient might have much more extensive medical bills and, as a result, would have the right to pursue additional compensation for those injuries.
More serious injuries may involve much more extensive medical treatments. Furthermore, some patients may suffer complications that can make their recoveries more difficult and, in many cases, more expensive.
5. How much work did you have to miss because of your Georgia car accident injuries?
Many car accident claims will include a claim for compensation for the wages the injured party lost as a direct result of the accident. Suppose, for example, that you suffered a back injury in your Georgia car accident. Your back injury makes it impossible for you to sit for long periods of time, so it takes several weeks for you to return to your office job. As a result, you might find yourself missing considerable income during that time, especially if your company does not allow adequate sick leave. You would have the right to include compensation for those lost wages as part of your claim.
Some people may have their earning potential permanently impacted by Georgia car accident injuries. By working with a lawyer, you can claim compensation for that lost potential, which may make it easier for you to rebuild your life and financial status after the accident.
6. How long did it take you to recover from your car accident injuries?
After a car accident, recovery times can vary dramatically, even among people with relatively similar injuries. While you recover, your entire life may need to change. You may have less time to spend with friends and loved ones, struggle to enjoy your usual hobbies, or miss out on a variety of activities you might otherwise have wanted to engage in. The longer your recovery lasts, the more deeply it may feel as though your car accident injuries have impacted your life, and the more overall losses you may suffer. If you had to go through a prolonged recovery, you may have the right to recover more compensation than if you had a relatively short recovery period.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Georgia Car Accident Claim
When you suffer injuries in a Georgia car accident, the insurance company that covers the liable party may try to issue a settlement offer that reflects only a small percentage of the compensation you really deserve. A lawyer, however, can help you determine the compensation you should really expect based on the terms of the liable party’s insurance policy and the suffering you have faced. Contact Cambre & Associates, LLC today to learn more about the value of your Georgia car accident claim.