A common question that we hear from car accident victims is—how much is my claim worth? Unfortunately, while this is a valid question, there is no set answer. The value of a car accident claim is affected by many factors, so there is no way to simply come up with a ballpark estimate.
Generally speaking, however, while there is no way to determine upfront how much you will get, victims do typically get more money when they work with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies often try to get victims to accept quick settlements, or they may even try to reduce your claim or deny the claim entirely for various reasons. A car accident attorney can help guide you through the process and fight against insurance companies to ensure you get the full amount you deserve.
1. Medical Care
Immediate medical attention is crucial in personal injury cases. Medical documents and doctor statements can help provide evidence that you were, in fact, injured and that your injuries were severe enough to require medical treatment. If you fail to seek treatment, the court or insurance companies may question the validity of your case and whether your injuries are actually linked to the accident.
2. Extent of Injuries
The type and severity of the injuries you sustain can also significantly impact the value of your claim. The worse your injuries are, and the more your life will be impacted by them, the more your claim will be worth. Catastrophic injuries that leave an individual partially or fully disabled can result in much larger settlement amounts.
Percentage of fault can also have an effect on your personal injury claim. Indiana runs on a comparative fault system. This means that the amount of money you will receive depends on whether or not you played any part in causing the accident. If you are 50% or less at fault, you can still file a claim against the other negligent party. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Additionally, who hit you and is held liable can also play a part in the value of your claim. If there are multiple parties involved, you could seek compensation from all those who are found liable. If you were struck by a commercial vehicle, you could even go after the company that owns the vehicle for additional compensation.
4. Insurance Coverage and Limits
When you are involved in an accident, the insurance coverage that the guilty party holds will determine how much your claim is worth. In Indiana, drivers are required to carry minimum coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. They could have a policy that is more than the minimum, but if they only have the minimum coverage, then $25,000 is the most you can get.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage or does not have enough coverage to cover all of your expenses, your own insurance policy is another option. Many drivers will carry uninsured motorist coverage, which can help make up the difference between the at-fault driver’s coverage and your out-of-pocket expenses. Other insurance policies that can help cover your costs include your own collision insurance for car repairs and medical insurance coverage.
5. Severity of the Accident and Damages
Damages that result from car accidents are not just injuries and car damage. Severe accidents can also be highly traumatic. The more severe a crash is, the more likely you are to receive higher compensation amounts. You can receive compensation for things that result from these accidents such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and PTSD. If your injuries or emotional distress cause you to miss work, you can also receive compensation for loss of income.
7. An Attorney
Ultimately, winning your case and getting the compensation you deserve requires proving fault and standing up to insurance companies who may attempt to reduce your claim amount. To properly advocate for your rights and prove fault, you will need the help of an attorney. Though you are not required to consult with a lawyer, your chances of getting more money will significantly increase if you do.
Our Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
At Crossen Law Firm, we understand how frustrating it can be to receive a low settlement offer from an insurance company after an accident. Our team has over 20 years of experience helping victims like yourself—we know what it takes to increase the value of your claim to ensure you get as much compensation as possible.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, contact us on our website or call us today at (317) 401-8626 for a free consultation.