After a motor vehicle accident, two of the primary concerns most clients have is hiring an attorney and how they are going to pay for medical bills. An accident can cost thousands of dollars, and not just in medical bills. Accidents can also cost you lost wages, medical equipment costs, loved ones who must take time off to assist with care, and many other situations that impact your bank account and your mental health.
Help After an Accident
A car accident can be a very traumatic event. The stress you experience after is common but deserves to be compensated. This is not a task to take on alone. Today, we’ll cover how your personal injury claim is valued.
After you know the basics, it’s time to seek counsel. Andersen, Tate & Carr are expert car accident lawyers in Duluth, GA. Since 1988, the founding partners have been committed to helping those in their community and getting victims the settlements they deserve.
Natives of the region, Andersen, Tate, & Carr is one of the largest firms in Northeast Georgia with an exceptional amount of resources and the experience necessary to represent car accident victims.
Elements of a Personal Injury Case
Every case will have a different value. A personal injury lawyer in Duluth, GA will not supply a case value in your first meeting. If they do, they are overpromising, or trying to manipulate you into representation.
An experienced attorney will not be able to give you a number until they review all the facts of the case, collect and examine evidence, and receive the prognosis of your injury. If an attorney gives your case a value during your initial consultation, we advise seeking a second opinion.
Whether a personal injury case goes to trial or settlement, there are several factors a jury or the insurance company will consider when determining the value of a case.
The primary elements include the nature of the accident, length of pain and suffering, the victim’s lifestyle before the accident compared to after the accident, the medical treatment and procedures required, and any pre-existing conditions that became exacerbated.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Damages
If an insurance company discusses settling, there are a few additional steps involved. An insurance adjuster will investigate the case on their own, conduct interviews, retain experts, and negotiate with your lawyer to arrive at a settlement.
The insurance company must weigh the aforementioned factors, as well as the chances of the victim winning at trial and the amount a jury may award the victim. Trials are expensive; an insurance company does not want to use valuable resources to try a case that favors the victim. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Duluth, GA, will advocate on your behalf, emphasizing the value of your case.
Each insurance company is different when determining the value and calculation method. First, they split the value of damages into two categories: special and general damages. Special damages are those that can be easily calculated, such as medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, etc. General damages are those not easily assigned a value, for example, pain and suffering, humiliation, loss of enjoyment, lifestyle changes, etc.
The monetary amount of special damages typically influences the value of your case. For example, if you received thousands of dollars in medical care, endured multiple surgeries, were unable to work for more than a year, and are permanently disabled, you typically have a high valued case.
Specialized software is used by insurance companies when determining the value of your case. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer 40% of what your case is worth in the first offer. Unfortunately, it is even lower if you are not represented by a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies know personal injury law and are likely to take advantage of unrepresented victims who are not aware of their rights.
Stay Safe, Call a Lawyer
Being represented by a personal injury lawyer in Duluth, GA, is the first step to take after your car accident to preserve your rights, protect your case, and receive a fair settlement. Many victims don’t realize that they are not required to talk to the insurance company. Too often, recorded statements are taken by insurance companies without the injured party knowing they are not required to provide a statement.
There are other instances throughout the settlement process that without a personal injury lawyer, could result in a settlement lower than you deserve. Your personal injury lawyer is your advocate and protects you through the entire process. Contact Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., today at (770) 822-0900 if you have been injured in a car accident.