After a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t be stuck with the costs of hospital bills, medication, and damage repairs. That’s why many victims of car accidents seek to recover damages from the party who was responsible for the collision. A personal injury lawyer helps victims determine what would be a fair settlement and guides them through the legal process so that they can fully understand what’s happening with their car accident claim.
Although car accidents can sometimes seem straight-forward in terms of settlements, they can be more complex because many factors go into determining fair settlement amounts. Economic damages are based on documents of bills and paychecks, which aren’t disputable. Noneconomic damages are more subjective and have to do more with the emotional toll of an accident rather than the physical and financial toll.
On top of the physical, emotional, and financial damage calculations, other factors can further impact your settlement. Your Philadelphia car accident lawyer from Shrager & Sachs will be able to answer your questions about your claim and figure out what could affect the amount you get in your car accident settlement. Let’s take a look at the most common factors that can affect your car accident settlement.
Even though you think it’s clear that the other person is at fault for your accident, if you are found to be at fault as well, then that could reduce your settlement. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, which means that if you are found to be partly at fault for the accident, then your compensation will be reduced by the percent you were determined to be at fault.
Conflicting Stories from Witnesses
If the other driver, any passengers, or anyone else who witnessed the accident all have conflicting stories about what happened, this can affect the determination of liability. If officials have a hard time finding out who was most at fault for an accident, it could harm how much you receive in your settlement since it relies on proving liability.
Type of Injury
Depending on the severity of your injury, you could receive more compensation. For example, if you had a neck injury that was serious and required more visits, treatments, surgeries, and medication, then you could receive more in your settlement.
When Medical Treatment Was Sought Out
It’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident, regardless of if you think you’re injured or not. This is because tests could show injuries that you don’t feel yet. When you don’t seek medical attention right away, and wait until you feel pain, it can be harder to prove that the injuries were a direct result of your car accident, and then could negatively impact your car accident settlement.
Disfigurement or Disability
Permanent or partial disfigurement or disability could increase your settlement because these injuries could impact the rest of your life.
All of the items relating to injuries above tie into your medical bills. Your lawyer will look at your medical bills to calculate that portion of your economic damages. If you don’t have records of your medical bills, you could lose out on fair compensation for those costs.
Type of Job
Depending on your line of work, your injuries could keep you from going back to work. For example, if your job is physically demanding and requires you to lift heavy objects, but your arm is broken, then your ability to work could be affected, which would factor into your settlement.
Another way your work could be affected is if you miss work because of your injuries, which leads to you losing wages. You need money to support yourself and possibly your family, which would be taken into account for your settlement. Your car accident lawyer will look at your paystubs and how they factor into the economic damages you can recover.
Sometimes liability doesn’t fall on a person, but instead a defective part in their vehicle. In this case, the manufacturer or car company could be at fault for your accident, which could affect your settlement depending on their error.
Single vs. Married
Your marital status could affect your car accident settlement. If you’re married, or the head of your household, your family likely relies on your abilities to provide for them. Your injury could keep you from bringing in wages like you used to, contributing to household chores, picking up the children, or helping your family in any other way that you used to. These damages can be considered noneconomic damages and could potentially increase how much you’re owed.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer From Shrager & Sachs
If you think any of the above situations apply to your car accident claim, or you are in a different situation that you think will still affect your potential settlement, then you could benefit from talking to a car accident attorney. At Shrager & Sachs in Philadelphia, our experienced personal injury lawyers know that cases can be complex and are willing to put in the work to ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today so we can discuss how we can help you.