After a car accident in a no-fault state like New Jersey or New York, your own insurance company will act as the primary insurer for the accident. If you were injured and the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may also be able to file claims to cover your losses. Determining how you will pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages can weigh heavy on your mind. It's common for car accident victims to wonder how much money they get from a car accident settlement.
At a bare minimum, a fair car accident settlement should cover your medical bills and any property damage you incurred because of the accident. However, damages you suffered from the car accident could go beyond medical bills and car repair. Your ability to perform your job or go to work may be affected by your injuries and you may have experienced pain and suffering and other losses that contributed to a lower quality of life since the incident. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, you have a right to fair and complete compensation.
Car Accident Settlements Should Include Medical Bills and Lost Wages
Fair car accident settlements include the full cost of your medical expenses -- both in the immediate aftermath of the accident and ongoing treatment. If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for these future medical expenses. Medical expenses include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital and surgery bills
- Rehabilitation services and therapy
- Medical devices
- Costs of retrofitting your home or car
One of the reasons it’s so important to not settle your claim early is so that you have a full understanding of your medical prognosis and expected treatment plan. Once you agree to settle your claim, you cannot go back and reopen it later to seek compensation for further medical care.
If you missed work because of your injuries, your settlement demand should include the lost wages you would have earned should you not have been injured. In cases of serious injury where the victim may not be able to return to the same job or work, you may seek lost future earnings.
Generally speaking, the higher the amount of your medical bills and other damages that you are seeking, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a New Jersey car accident lawyer who can represent your best interests. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much easier to obtain fair compensation.
Settlements for Pain and Suffering
Many car accident settlements include compensation for non-economic or intangible losses. These types of damages can’t be calculated through bills or records as they are subjective damages for emotional injuries and mental anguish suffered because of the injuries.
Every case and settlement is unique, so insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a burn injury that required extensive hospitalizations and painful treatments than if you broke your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience, and the more you deserve in compensation for your injuries.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Fair Settlement after a Car Accident?
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. If the insurance company is giving you the run-around or denying your claim, you should contact a personal injury attorney about your case. By having legal representation, your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward securing a fair settlement. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it?
When you hire a car accident lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. Don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.