Several factors affect how much money you could get from a car accident settlement, including the nature, extent, and severity of your injuries. Another element that affects how much you could recover is your contributing role, if any, in the accident.
The insurance company (and the court) considers the other party’s liability if they failed to react as a reasonable person would have in a similar situation.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover from a Car Accident Settlement?
You could recover compensation for two types of damages caused by another party’s negligence: economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages you could recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Emergency medical care
- Medications and medical equipment
- Physical therapy and other rehabilitative care
- Lost wages and reduced earning ability
- In-home care and support
- Property damage
- Modifications to accommodate medical equipment and disability
Meanwhile, non-economic damages that may be recoverable include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Mental pain
- Loss of consortium
- Lost enjoyment of life
When we represent you, our team will work to identify which damages you can recover and how much they are worth.
What Can Affect the Value of My Car Accident Settlement?
Because there are so many unique variables per accident claim, there is no “average settlement.” In fact, the average car accident settlement isn’t going to be the most commonly occurring payout–estimates will change with extremely high and extremely low figures awarded in special circumstances.
Some of the unique circumstances that may change the value of your financial award include:
- Your level of fault in the collision. If you are the at-fault driver, or if you share any percentage of fault in the accident, your settlement could be non-existent or much lower depending on how much you contributed. In Ohio, contributory negligence will decide the payout.
- Maximum coverage included in the responsible party’s insurance policies. While your lawyer may be able to pursue additional options for compensation beyond the available insurance maximum, your payout is often limited by the at-fault party’s insurance coverage.
- Whether you suffered minor or severe injuries. More severe injuries often require higher medical expenses, accommodation to your home or vehicle, assistive care, and other expenses. The money required to treat and accommodate your injuries is what factors into the accident settlement amount. Minor injuries typically garner smaller awards because the victim doesn’t need as much money to treat them.
- Your average wage. The wages you lose while recovering from your injuries play a large role in your financial losses, which make up a significant portion of your accident settlement amount. It stands to reason, then, that someone who is losing a higher salary may receive a higher financial award.
- Whether the at-fault driver’s actions were egregious. Punitive damages are rare. In some states, they are not awarded, no matter the circumstances; however, sometimes the court will award additional damages meant to punish the person who caused you harm if their actions are deemed especially reckless, negligent, or mal-intentioned.
For most, the value of your accident claim cannot be estimated without a thorough case review. A personal injury lawyer can gather relevant documentation of expenses and your personal suffering to create this estimate. Your legal team will do everything that is legally in their power to fight for a fair settlement that accounts for all you’ve lost.
Qualifying Injuries with Greater Compensation
Ohio recognizes that people with catastrophic injuries will need additional medical care for a longer time—perhaps the rest of their lives. According to the Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.18, there is no limit for non-economic compensatory damages for individuals with injuries such as:
- Permanent and significant physical deformities
- Loss or paralysis of a limb (arm or leg)
- Loss of a bodily organ function or system
- Permanent inability to independently care for yourself and perform life-sustaining activities
A car accident lawyer on our team can talk to your doctor or healthcare provider (with your permission) to determine if your injuries meet this threshold.
Car Accident Injuries that May be Considered Catastrophic
These injuries may meet the required threshold of “serious injury” as defined by the state:
- Paralysis or spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
What is a Duty of Care, and How does that Affect a Car Accident Settlement?
Motorists have an obligation to follow the rules of the road and take reasonable measures to avoid injuring others. This is known as “duty of care.” Our team can help determine if and how the other party failed to uphold their duty of care. We will need to:
- Establish that the other party owed you a duty of care
- Show how the other party failed to uphold this duty (negligence)
- Explain causation of injuries because of this negligence
- Supply proof of damages in the form of medical bills, lost pay, pain and suffering, and other losses
Each of these elements is necessary to hold another party accountable for your accident.
Can You Recover Damages if You played a Minor Role in the Accident?
According to the Ohio Department of Insurance, you could recover money damages from a car accident so long as you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible.
Ohio has a comparative negligence law, which recognizes that sometimes two (or more) parties contributed to a car accident. Therefore, if the insurance company or the court decides that you played a minor role in the crash, you may still recover money for medical bills, lost pay, and other damages.
Determining Liability for a Car Accident in Ohio
Our team can gather evidence to show that the other party is primarily responsible for the accident so that you can pursue compensation. There are many potential forms of evidence in a car accident case, including:
- Photos of the accident scene, including debris, skid marks, and final resting place of both vehicles
- Digital on-board information systems
- Closed-circuit traffic cameras
- Police reports
It is crucial to gather evidence, documentation, and testimony quickly. Physical evidence can be cleaned up or eroded over time, and witnesses may become unreliable or unavailable.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Fight for Your Settlement
Hiring a car accident attorney from our team ensures you always have someone on your side fighting for the compensation you deserve. Some of our past car accident case results include:
- $5 million for a wrongful death in a truck accident
- $1.45 million for a victim with fractured leg and ankle
- $1 million for a victim with a brain injury
- $600,000 for a victim with hip fractures and other injuries
Several factors can affect how much money you might get from a car accident settlement. Our firm can identify and value the damages in your case to arrive at an appropriate settlement amount.
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At the Fitch Law Firm LLC, we help car accident victims value their damages and fight hard for fair financial recovery. Get a free consultation today. Call today for help with your car accident case.
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