The Steps of the Litigation Process
When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a car crash, victims and families are often daunted by the process. Whether they’re coping with long-term physical injuries and financial difficulties or even job loss, victims are forced to pick up the pieces following an injurious car wreck. But negotiating with insurance companies and seeking legal recourse is essential.
Despite the fact that injuries can still occur in fender benders, victims may be discouraged from seeking an accident settlement. But it’s important to know how to negotiate in the aftermath of a crash and be aware of average accident settlements.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix car accident lawyers at ELG. Our team of auto accident lawyers is here to help you safeguard your legal rights and help you explore your settlement options after a wreck.
First, organize the facts of your case. Note the extent of your injuries, including long-term physical and emotional consequences. Document the damage to your vehicle, as well as any injuries or effects on your passengers. Other financial consequences after a crash may include medical receipts, physical therapy, and lost wages.
When you’re negotiating, you must also highlight the negative emotional impact. For example, a car crash can impact your personal relationships or your ability to care for loved ones, such as your children or spouse. If you’re the breadwinner in your home and are unable to work after an accident, you could seek compensation for lost wages. Though it’s difficult to place value on emotional suffering, noting these factors contribute to your favorable settlement.
Oftentimes, the claim process takes months. You may be tempted to take the first compensation offer made by the insurance company, but avoid accepting this initial offer. An adjuster may try to convince you not to file based on the expense of an accident claim. In other words, adjusters will make a lower offer to settle your case. It’s important to remember that you should consult your attorney to review terms and never accept a lower offer.
Types of Claims for Litigation
The value of each car accident settlement is different because no two victims experience exactly the same losses. However, it’s important to understand the average car accident settlement. First, know that Arizona courts split damages into three main categories:
- Special Damages: Special damages refer to an individual’s exact monetary losses. Damages include past and future medical expenses, medical treatment, lost wages and lost earning opportunities. One can predict special damages accurately based on victims’ bills.
- General Damages: Most victims experience general damages. From emotional trauma and psychological impact to lost companionship and physical pain and suffering, these damages are universal but more difficult to predict. The value of these damages depends on how well a victim demonstrates their losses.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages don’t apply in all car accident claims. This is an additional form of compensation a judge can award if they don’t think compensatory damages are enough. For example, these damages are common in cases where the defendant is guilty of gross negligence, such as drunk driving.
Claim data shows that the average accident settlement falls between $14,000 and $28,000, or right around $21,000. The average value of more serious car accidents is around $31,000. Generally, the more serious the injuries and damages involved, the higher the claim value will be.
For example, a car accident that results in a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis could be worth hundreds of thousands. This is due to the lifetime costs related to the victim’s injury.
In rare cases, plaintiffs could receive millions of dollars in damages depending on the circumstances. Typically, personal injury trials result in higher compensation than insurance settlements.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Phoenix
No matter the accident, the best way to maximize your is to consult your attorney after an accident. Your lawyer will help you organize the facts of your case and act as a liaison during negotiations. Contact our Phoenix injury lawyers at ELG today at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation. If you’ve sustained physical and emotional trauma in an accident, it’s important to speak to your lawyer. And our compassionate, skilled attorneys have years of experience in fighting for victims and their families to secure their fair compensation.