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Following one of the 12,000+ involved in a serious car accident or truck wrecks that happen in Texas each year, so much is uncertain. Victims may be facing painful injuries with extensive recovery needs, missing work for treatment and physical recovery, and dealing with mounting medical bills and car repair costs, not to mention the toll these periods take on mental health and family wellness.
Many of Ryan L. Thompson’s clients find themselves asking for help with these issues when they first reach out. The goal for Ryan and everyone at his firm is not only to deliver the very best possible settlement, but to deliver an exceptional client experience through that process. An important part of achieving that goal is ensuring that clients are clear and confident in their expectations of pursuing a personal injury claim. Awareness of potential financial recovery is a crucial part of this understanding.
How Much to Expect: The Short Answer
As a personal injury lawyer, one of the most pressing questions Ryan’s clients have when they first reach out is, “How much money can I expect from my settlement?” Although a variety of factors influence the likely settlement value, you can estimate it by using two calculations and one rule:
- First, add up your total economic damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages).
- Second, multiply that figure by 1.5 to 5, depending on aggravating factors associated with your case (e.g., if you were hit by a drunk driver).
- Finally, cap the total you calculate at the policy limit involved (e.g., the minimum $30k/$60k policy in Texas).
Understandably, you may have questions about these three steps. The total value of economic damages can be difficult to track. There may be questions about the number of aggravating factors. If you need help, contact the firm of Ryan L. Thompson. Ryan offers free initial consultations and has a team of legal experts standing by 24/7 to help you get the answers you need.
How Much to Expect: The Long Answer
Now that you’ve seen a preview of the basic elements of a personal injury claim, let’s dig into more specifics. It is first important to note the key components to proving you are entitled to financial recovery after an accident. It must be demonstrated that the opposing party acted negligently, making him or her wholly or mostly at-fault (i.e., liable). Second, it must be demonstrated that losses (e.g., bodily injury, property damage) occurred as a direct result of the negligent action. These losses are referred to as damages.
What Factors Contribute to My Damages?
While the causal combinations of a car accident are virtually limitless, there are a few types of documentation that are commonly required for proving negligence or determining damages tied to an insurance claim. To justify the totals reached in the calculations of the previous section, you will likely need to provide some or all of the following:
- Accident report (frequently referred to as the police report)
- Copies of any citations issued on the day of the car accident
- Copies of any witness statements
- Medical records from injuries sustained in the wreck
- Copies of all medical bills
- Copies of receipts from any out of pocket payments for medical care
- Copies of receipts from any out of pocket payments for property damage repair
- Proof of lost wages
- Certificate of death
Questions? Ryan and his team are here to help.
Determining the Value of Damages for Your Claim
Once all the documentation of your damages has been assembled, the assessment and calculation of your deserved settlement can begin in earnest. You must be able to prove that the at-fault party behaved negligently and that his or her negligence directly caused your injury or loss.
The car accident injury can be physical, mental, or can even be used to describe damage to your property. It’s extremely important to do a thorough and accurate job of evaluating documented injury and damages. This is where it can become essential to have an experienced auto accident attorney working with you.
Your auto accident attorney will use the damages formula to determine a starting point for the settlement process. With their experience, they can determine the compensation types for which you are eligible. Examples of these types include medical care and related expenses, lost income, pain and physical suffering, permanent disability, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and emotional suffering.
It can be hard to place monetary worth on how an accident affects an individual’s personal life or mental health. Therefore, the expert guidance of a specialized car accident attorney can be extremely valuable. Their knowledge and experience can guide the application of your specific circumstance to the damage formula.
The treatment and recovery process, gathering and analysis of documentation, not to mention the negotiations, can all take varying amounts of time, according to the complexity of the accident and resulting injuries. The process can become even more costly and complex if the issue cannot be resolved in settlement negotiations and must proceed to court.
This is exactly why there is a long and short answer to this question. Common rules for determining liability and damages apply, but accidents can be vastly different in their severity and repercussions. Working with an expert car accident attorney like Ryan the Lion Thompson can make all the difference in treading this path with confidence.
How Do Insurance Limits Affect the Settlement Process?
Often the insurance company is the party that offers the settlement during the negotiations process. Insurance policies have limits. Claims that approach or exceed that amount will be affected by the policy limit. If your settlement demand is over the policy limit, the insurer will likely try to negotiate it down to that limit. In these cases, you do have the right to accept that offer, release the insurance company from further liability, and sue the insured directly for the rest of the money you are owed for compensatory and punitive damages.
Need Help Negotiating Your Personal Injury Settlement?
It’s understandable to have questions and want guidance after your car accident or truck accident. Find the help you need with Ryan L. Thompson. Ryan is an experienced personal injury lawyer with an outstanding track record of getting his clients the settlements they deserve. If you need help with your personal injury claim, reach out anytime day or night. Your consultation is free and just 15 minutes on the phone can put you on the path to recovery and rightful compensation.
Texas law limits your time to file a claim.
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