If you've been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, it's natural to want to know how much compensation you're entitled to under the law. However, this is a question without an easy answer. There are a number of factors that are used to determine the level of damages awarded in a car accident suit.
Factors Affecting Car Accident Compensation
Some of the most significant factors that affect car accident compensation include:
- Evidence of the defendant’s negligence. For a strong case, you need witnesses to the accident, traffic camera footage, or a clear finding by law enforcement that the defendant’s behavior caused the accident.
- Percentage of fault. If your own actions contributed to the accident, your ability to collect damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Severity of your injuries. Injuries leading to lifelong disabilities will be eligible for the highest compensation. However, you should also consider that broken bones and nerve damage are considered "hard injuries" with higher compensation than sprains, strains, and other soft-tissue injuries.
- Type of medical treatment obtained. Following a car accident, you want to seek immediate treatment from a medical doctor, clinic, or hospital. You can choose to see a chiropractor or an alternative care provider at a later date, but exclusive treatment by non-MD providers will cast doubt on the severity of your injuries.
- Whether your current lifestyle is consistent with your injury claims. The defense will be looking for any indication that you've exaggerated the severity of your injuries. In many cases, the defense will hire an investigator to follow around the plaintiff to ensure that the description of his injuries is valid. If you claim to have back pain, for example, you shouldn't be out lifting heavy bags of soil while landscaping your front yard.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
The best way to protect your right to compensation following a serious car accident is to enlist the services of a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Since personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, there's no upfront cost for legal representation. To learn more, please complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's experienced personal injury attorneys.