Car accidents are unfortunately common, and they frequently lead to both property damage and significant injuries—both of which are likely to saddle you with significant financial losses and liabilities. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is imperative that you discuss the matter with a personal-injury attorney, who can ensure that you'll get the compensation you deserve.
Only your attorney can predict the dollar figure that you are likely to receive once the settlement has been completed, as settlement amounts vary from case to case and from one jurisdiction to the next. However, you should familiarize yourself with the factors that play a big role in determining the amount you'll likely receive.
The Nature of Your Injury: Major injuries—particularly those that require surgery or other expensive procedures—will tend to increase the amount of the settlement while minor injuries will not appreciably increase the amount of the settlement. Injuries normally characterized as painful will also lead to greater settlement amounts than injuries that rarely cause significant pain.
The Duration and Extent of Your Recovery: If your injury will require a lengthy recovery period, you'll likely receive a much larger settlement than in the case of an accident that leads to short-term injuries that heal quickly. This is especially true of injuries that require you to remain in the hospital for an extended period of time. Recoveries necessitating physical therapy often demand higher settlement amounts as well.
The Damage to Your Vehicle: Although the costs associated with vehicular damage are rarely as significant as those associated with injuries, they do affect the ultimate value of the settlement. Accidents involving significant damage to expensive vehicles will usually entail larger settlements than those involving low-value automobiles.
Your Prognosis: If the injuries you suffer are likely to affect your life for an extended period of time, or if they are likely to irreversibly impact your life and the quality thereof, you'll likely enjoy a larger settlement than those that are sure to heal completely. Your settlement amount may also be affected by the degree to which your injuries affect your ability to support yourself.
Other Extenuating Factors: A variety of other factors can also affect the amount of your settlement. For example, if the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your settlement amount may be higher than it would be if he or she was sober. Weather, traffic, and cultural events occurring at the time of the accident may also influence the amount of the settlement you receive.
Talk to an auto-accident attorney to find out more.