After a motor vehicle crash, many people assume that their settlement will be high because news reports often make it seem as if the courts regularly make these large awards. However, coming up with a dollar amount that reflects your damages is not usually simple.
Determining negligence is key to valuing your personal injury case and assessing the amount of compensation you deserve.
To arrive at the value connected to the injuries you suffer in a vehicle accident, you must know what kind of damages an insurance company would pay for in your case. These might include the following:
- Expenses related to your medical care
- Reimbursement for lost income
- Pain and suffering, including emotional stress and anxiety
- Property damage
If applicable, the damages may also include permanent disability or disfigurement. For example, if you should suffer a spinal cord injury, you might require lifelong medical care. Any compensation you receive should include coverage for both current and future medical expenses.
Protecting your settlement
Insurance compensation following a vehicle crash is not a one-size-fits-all amount. To begin with, the state of New Jersey observes the standard of comparative negligence, meaning that the value of your claim will depend on the extent to which you and the other driver were at fault for the collision.
The insurance company will also weigh the type and severity of your injury. Keep in mind that insurance companies contract with hospitals to pay a certain amount of patient charges, and to fill the gap, the hospitals may try to obtain a portion of the patient’s liability settlement.
Preparing to file a claim
You should seek a prompt medical evaluation after a vehicle crash, even a minor one. First, your well-being is at stake, and second, the doctor you see will create a medical report that ties your injury to the accident. Insurance companies scrutinize medical reports closely, and when the time comes to file a claim, your advocate will want a copy of this document to use in insurance negotiations on your behalf. If the other driver is at fault, you may seek full and fair compensation for your injury.