When you suffer serious injuries in a car accident, you may find yourself wondering, “Just how much is my car accident claim worth?” You may know that you have grounds for a personal injury claim due to the extent of your injuries. However, you should realize that the exact amount you can claim for your injuries will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Are you trying to learn more about how much you could receive from your car accident claim? Considering these key factors can help you and an auto accident attorney determine the value of your case:
What Injuries Did You Suffer?
The injuries that you suffered in your car accident will have a significant bearing on the compensation that you can seek for the accident. The insurance company will evaluate the extent of your injuries, determine what limitations they cause in your life, and consult your medical records to see how long you should expect those injuries to cause limitations in your life. Injuries like spinal cord injury, including paralysis, and traumatic brain injury, which can cause long-term or even permanent limitations in your life following your car accident, may receive higher payouts than, say, a broken limb.
The injuries you suffer will impact several areas of your claim. In general, when you file a personal injury claim, you can include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost time at work
- Lost earning potential due to permanent injuries
The type of injury that you’ve suffered can have an impact on each of these compensation areas. Consider the following:
- The more severe your injury, the higher your medical bills. Most of the time, the insurance company will carefully consider the medical expenses that you face as a result of your accident, including long-term therapy or skilled nursing care as a result of serious injuries. Medical expenses can add up fast in the case of serious injuries. You may have long-term hospitalization costs as well as the cost of physical therapy throughout your recovery. You can add all of those expenses to your claim. New York’s no-fault policy means that your personal injury protection insurance will cover the first $10,000 of your medical expenses.
- More serious injuries cause more pain and suffering. Not only do you suffer physical pain from your injuries, but those injuries may also restrict you from engaging in activities that you once enjoyed regularly. Talk to a lawyer to help you better define pain and suffering and how it limits you after your accident.
- The more serious your injuries, the longer you will need before returning to work. In addition to all the expenses that pile up after an accident with serious injuries, you may find your income taking a heavy hit, too. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or you need to attend appointments and physical therapy that severely limit your time at work, you may claim that lost time as part of the compensation you receive after your accident.
- Permanent injuries can prevent you from returning to your former profession. Traumatic brain injury, for example, can permanently prevent the victim from returning to a profession that requires creative thinking or a great deal of emotional control. Amputation could prevent the victim from returning to a highly physical profession. The extent of your injuries and your current profession will determine how those injuries impact your long-term employment prospects.
What Are the Limits of the Policy?
In a car accident, you will receive compensation from the responsible driver’s insurance company. Many drivers carry only New York’s minimum insurance, which allows for $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury for each individual involved in an accident. If the driver who caused your accident carries only minimum coverage, you may receive far less in compensation for your injuries than if that driver carried an insurance policy with higher coverage limits.
You may also need to consider whether anyone else suffered injuries in the accident to determine the policy’s maximum coverage. For example, some policies may cap at $50,000 of medical coverage per accident, regardless of how many people suffered injuries in the accident. As a result, you may receive less compensation if others also suffered serious injuries in the accident.
If you struggle with tight policy limits following an accident, or you feel that the insurance company has not offered you fair compensation, talking with a lawyer can help you better understand the limits of the policy. Many attorneys will begin with a free consultation and even offer reasonable payment options that make it easier to pay for the legal help you need after an accident.
Are you struggling to determine how much compensation you should seek in your car accident claim? Do you need help navigating the complex claims process? Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond as soon as possible.