What is a fair insurance settlement from a car accident?

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Insurance settlements can vary in their award amounts
  • You need to make sure you are getting enough in the settlement to cover all of your expenses
  • Remember that sometimes injuries can arise later that you are not yet aware of
  • Try to avoid a personal injury lawsuit when possible

What is a car insurance settlement?

A car insurance settlement is a legal settlement agreed upon by both parties in a car insurance dispute. It is often negotiated by the attorneys or representatives of both sides of an accident.

The final ruling is made by a judge after the parties have shared both sides of their argument and worked out an amount both can live with.

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The Purpose of Car Insurance Settlements

Car insurance settlements are meant to satisfy the additional expenses such as medical expenses from injuries one or both parties obtained as a result of the accident. No-fault insurance or Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) may pay some of these damages.

But if they do not, the parties may enter into negotiations for a settlement. Once the amount is agreed upon, the judge ruling is final, and it cannot be rescinded.

How do you know you got a fair settlement?

When you are involved in an insurance settlement dispute, it is important to have an understanding of how much is fair before you agree to a settlement. What should you do to figure out if the final amount is going to be enough if you were not at-fault? This decision is final once authorized by a judge.

Calculating Loss

One method for determining how much is a fair settlement from your car accident is to take out a calculator and figure out the total amount of loss, expenses, time off work, and other financial loss that you suffered as a result of the accident.

Calculating Personal Injury Amounts

One thing to keep in mind when you are figuring out how much you could settle for in an insurance settlement is to have a better understanding of personal injury calculations.

Remember that a settlement is meant to avoid court. Read up on how personal injury cases are figured first, in case you feel you would be better off to go forward with a court case.

How Personal Injury Cases are Figured in Court

In general, if a case cannot be settled in the insurance settlement process, you could hire a lawyer who is willing to file a personal injury case. If you do that, the decision will be based on the following criteria:

  • Review of the evidence according to the facts of law
  • Pain and suffering factors that are presented to the jury
  • Time out of work and monetary loss
  • Amount of medical expenses incurred from the injury
  • The likelihood that someone will be able to return to work or suffer permanent physical or mental damage

When You are the Defendant in a Personal Injury Case

One important note to add here is that emotional appeal has a great deal of power in a personal injury case as well, and this can add dollar signs to the plaintiff’s award.

If the victim’s attorney shows that the person has lost their job and income, accrued huge amounts of debt and expenses due to the accident, or suffered mental pain and anguish, juries tend to side for a larger payment to the plaintiff. It is important to have adequate insurance to cover damages.

When You’re the Plaintiff in the Case

If you are the plaintiff in the case, you and your attorney should review the damages and losses so that the jury gets a clear picture of everything you went through, as well as the physical and more obvious damages that you suffered in the accident.

Settling Outside of Court

The goal of an insurance settlement is to settle outside of court. It is usually to your advantage to do so. If you move forward with the personal injury case and you lose, you receive nothing. You also have the added expense of the attorney’s legal fees.

It is a big risk. If you can settle outside of court and agree on an amount, you are guaranteed payment soon after that for the amount you agreed upon.

How to Negotiate a Fair Settlement

Getting a fair settlement in your car insurance settlement procedure will be determined by a number of factors. Luckily, most of these are within your control.

If you have a good attorney, they can be your voice and fight for your rights to be sure that you get the best amount possible based on your unique circumstances to cover your financial loss. Negotiating this amount outside of court is crucial.

A Great Tip to Remember

The other side will typically offer a settlement that is substantially lower than what you asked for, which is a legal tactic to save as much money as possible for the defendant. Remember, the defendant knows the accident is their fault, and they caused the damages.

But they want to keep the amount as low as possible In cases of insurance settlements for car accidents, this is usually to save the insurance company money and thus the defendant, as well with their monthly premiums.

Comparing Car Insurance

Remember that insurance starts at the front end. You need to find the best possible insurance to cover your needs when you are shopping and comparing insurance plans. This preliminary footwork will keep you from having to proceed to the insurance settlement step in the event you are named as a defendant in such a case, or worse, in a personal injury lawsuit.

Be sure to ask a representative to explain the various coverages in detail so that you will have a full understanding of your options. And if you need legal advice, seek an attorney’s advice on what would be considered a fair settlement amount if you are the plaintiff in such a case. Remember, drive safely.

Insurance is like an umbrella you keep in your car but hope you never have to use.

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