How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

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Were you injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver? If so, you are most likely wondering whether you’re entitled to compensation, and if so, how much compensation your case is worth. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Stamford, Connecticut car accident lawyer to learn more about how car accident settlements and damages are calculated in Connecticut and how we can help you fight for your rightful compensation. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What Factors Influence Car Accident Settlements?

Several variables determine the size of a car accident settlement. Primarily, the extent of the victim’s injuries stands out as a significant factor. The nature and extent of injuries have a controlling impact on the amount of money that can be recovered. Under Connecticut law, there are two major categories of damages: 1) economic damages; and 2) non-economic damages. Economic damages include past and future medical expenses and loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity – the latter category embraces reasonable estimates of the impact of injuries on the ability to perform work in the future. Economic damages can also be claimed for the value of the loss of household services contributed by the injured person. Non-economic damages are quality of life damages. Physical pain and emotional suffering; loss of enjoyment of life’s leisure activities; in reference to hobbies and recreation; the loss or impairment of bodily function; and disruption of family relationships.

Accident-related damages also consider comparative fault. Comparative fault will be considered in settlement discussions and ultimately resolved by the jury in the event of a trial. An injured party’s recovery is reduced by the allocation of a percentage of negligence attributable to his or her conduct, so long as the percentage is not greater than 50%. Lawyers and insurance companies can factor issues of comparative fault in negotiations. However, discussions rarely focus on assigning a specific percentage of fault and concentrate on the amount of a proposed resolution. Should the claim be tried to a jury, the jury will need to assign a specific percentage of comparative negligence.

Non-Economic Damages Quantified?

Non-economic damages are primarily subjective and largely elude quantification. Subjective damages can be viewed like “beauty…in the eyes of the beholder.” Over time, insurance companies have attempted to devise systems for assessing non-economic damages, including the use of computer programs that govern insurance company behavior during settlement negotiations.

Another intangible that impacts the value of personal injury claims is your lawyer. Insurance companies and their lawyers can easily identify lawyers who have a track record of taking cases to trial as opposed to lawyers who are eager to settle cases and do so at a discount. Any lawyer can claim to be a trial lawyer – even touting membership in trial lawyer organizations. But not every lawyer actually has a reputation for taking a case to trial. Of course, there are cases that cry out for settlement, and that decision is a matter for consideration by and between the injured party and his or her attorney. Considerations that might warrant settlement as opposed to trial include: 1) the amount of the proposed settlement; 2) the client’s preferences; 3) pre-existing conditions that complicate the new injury claims; and 4) potential liability issues.

Ultimately, if you’ve sustained an injury in an accident due to no fault of your own, it is paramount that you retain the services of a competent Connecticut personal injury attorney who can effectively fight for the compensation you need. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you have come to the right place. Contact Casper & de Toledo today to schedule your free case evaluation with our firm.