Four Key Factors to Car Accident Settlement
Car accident settlements are calculated and offered based on a number of factors, however, not all factors can be measured numerically. This article will discuss four factors that directly affect car accident settlements and how they work.
There are many variables that affect the value of a car accident settlement, however, there are four key factors that are of special importance. These are:
- Whether your explanations of how the accident happened are consistent
- If the plaintiff has solid evidence of the defendant’s negligence
- If the plaintiff’s doctor’s opinions support the plaintiff’s medical complaints
- Whether post-accident complaints are consistent with your post-accident actions and lifestyle
1. Consistency of Your Version of Events
In a personal injury case it is likely that you will give multiple explanations of how the accident happened. There are a number of different people you will end up discussing the accident with regards to how it happened and what you experienced. Some of these people include:
- The other driver, the passengers in your car and even bystanders at the accident scene
- First responders such as police and emergency personnel
- If you go to hospital – physicians, nurses and other hospital employees
- Your own physicians
- Your insurance company
- Your state’s DMV
- The defendant’s insurer’s adjuster
- The defendant’s insurer’s investigator
- The defense attorney in a deposition
- The jury at trial
These are lot of different people who get to hear some version of events. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that your story remain as consistent as possible. While you may not be able to give the exact same story each time, if your story deviates too much a defense attorney and insurance adjuster can poke holes in it decreasing the settlement value of your case.
2. Solid Evidence of Negligence
Liability is a key element in any personal injury case, therefore, the quality of your proof of negligence against the defendant plays a very important role. This is especially important where the accident does not immediately point to an individual as at fault. For example, a rear end collision is almost always the fault of the person behind.
3. The Doctor’s Opinions V. Your Complaints
Is important to realize that insurance adjusters and defense attorneys look very carefully at your medical records and compare them with what you complain about. If your doctor’s opinions support what you are saying about your aches and pains and general discomfort this is a good thing. However, if they do not the defendant will likely accuse you of exaggerating your complaints and malingering . Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you share all your aches and pains with your doctor in order for him or her to record then and then provide his or her professional opinion.
4. Post-Accident Complaints Vs Post-Accident Actions and Lifestyle
It is of the utmost importance that the personal injury plaintiff be consistent in all of his post-accident statements and actions. This is because the insurer can send an investigator to follow the plaintiff around, therefore be consistent.
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