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Jonathan Rosenfeld

November 24, 2020

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Car Accident Claim
When you are about to file a car accident claim, it helps to know what can impact the value of your settlement.

One thing is for sure: the insurance company knows how much it would need to pay you for your car accident claim.

For the insurance company, the best claimant is an uneducated one because they are trying to pay you less than you deserve in a settlement. Thus, it helps to know what factors could influence the value of your auto accident case.

The first thing that you should know is the two categories of damages. The first is economic damages, representing either money that has come out of your pocket because of the accident or that you are prevented from earnings.

The second is non-economic damages, subjective dollar measures of how the accident has impacted you.

With that in mind, here is the explanation of five factors that answer the common questions about your auto accident case value:

Lost Wages

If you are talking about payment for the time you have missed from work, it is not difficult to calculate, provided that the injury was severe enough to cause you to miss time.

Car accident cases can get contentious when you seek payment for future earnings lost. This is almost always where there is a dispute between the two sides in a personal injury claim.

The insurance company or the defendant will almost always argue that you are not unable to work because of your injury.

Alternatively, they may claim that, as an injured party, you can work in a lower-paying job without regard to your current job training.

This is where you would need some expert testimony and convincing documentation of this element of your insurance claim because the other side will not simply concede that you are entitled to what could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more unless you have suffered a severe injury.

Pain and Suffering

When you are a plaintiff, this element of damages is very subjective, although it is usually determined according to a formula. This is one of the most significant factors that affect the value of a car accident case.

In many states, some laws cap pain and suffering damages. Illinois tried that in the past, but in the case of Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down damage caps in medical malpractice cases that would have limited pain and suffering.

Thus, there are no constraints on pain and suffering damages for all cases in Illinois.

Here, the type of injury you suffered and the documentation you can provide will influence the insurer or the jury.

They will use their feelings to decide the multiplier for your pain and suffering award. It is important to remember that pain and suffering cover what you have experienced and pay you for what you will suffer in the future.

Severe injuries will lead to higher pain and suffering awards.

Medical Expenses

Some of your damages award may be used to pay back your health insurance provider for your medical treatment.

They have the right of subrogation to be paid back what they have already paid out on your behalf. Of course, if you have any out-of-pocket expenses, these will also be reimbursed in your car accident case.

Medical expenses are not just limited to the cost of medical care. You may also have long-term costs of care that include rehabilitation and other medical bills.

If your accident injuries are severe enough, you may even require some home health care and more extensive care. You would need to detail and document what your medical costs are expected to be in the future.

Your Responsibility for the Car Accident

Once the total value of your car accident injury claim is established, your role in the events that led to the accident will be examined. Illinois Statutes Chapter 735 Civil Procedure §-1116 sets forth the limitations on recovery in a personal injury case in the state.

Your car accident attorney may obtain a settlement or a jury award for you if you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. This is the Illinois version of a contributory negligence statute.

However, the value of your car accident claim will be reduced by the percentage of the blame that you bear for causing the crash. In other words, you are not rewarded for your own negligence.

For example, if a car ran a red light and hit you, but you were not wearing a seatbelt, you bear a proportion of the fault for what happened to you in the car crash.

Let’s say that the insurance company thinks that the lack of a seatbelt caused 20% of your injuries, it will reduce your amount of recovery by that amount.

This happens because the law recognizes that making someone pay for part of the damage they did not cause is unfair.

The Documentation That You Provide in Your Car Accident Claim

Even if you have been injured, you will only receive financial compensation for what you can show that you have suffered. This means that you will need to provide evidence of the accident.

You will also need to provide documentation of your damages in the form of medical records and other proof of your injuries.

You can also provide evidence of psychological damage and the loss of your lifestyle regarding pain and suffering.

You should provide earning statements and other evidence of your earning power regarding lost wages. The insurance company is generally very strict about what they pay, and they usually need to be pushed to pay the total value of the car accident claim.

Providing them with extensive documentation takes them their first line of defense when they try to deny you what you are owed.

You should start by giving all of the available evidence to the insurance adjuster to establish the value of your car accident case. This could include a police report and witness statements. Your personal injury attorney can help you deal with the insurance adjuster.

As a car accident victim, your personal injury lawyer can help you establish the value of your case. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is the law firm you hire when you need an experienced car accident attorney.


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