If you’ve suffered serious injuries from a car accident, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, suffering and mental anguish if the accident was caused by somebody else’s negligence. You’ve heard about multi-million dollars accident case settlements and friends that have collected thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now you’re hurt and you’re wondering how much money you might collect for your California car accident injury.
Factors That Determine How Much a Case Is Worth
Ethical attorneys are not going to promise specific results for any case, but it’s possible to get a pretty good idea of what a case is worth by looking at these factors:
- Your age and health;
- The type of injury;
- The amount of medical treatment;
- The length of medical treatment;
- How painful the injury is;
- Length of disability and
- Degree of fault.
It’s usually not possible to determine many of these factors until some time has passed since an accident. Injuries that may seem very severe right after a car crash, may heal quickly with minimal treatment and seemingly minor injuries can take a turn for the worse. To get the highest amount of compensation possible, it’s important to hire a California car accident injury attorney that knows how to maximize the value of your case.
How To Maximize The Value Of A California Car Accident Injury Case
The first order of business is to conduct a thorough investigation to determine all responsible parties. The best California car accident injury attorneys don’t just make a claim against the owner and driver of the vehicle for victims of severe or catastrophic injuries. That’s because most cars in California only carry the state’s minimum liability policy limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident. This is insufficient for compensating victims of severe injuries. That’s why it’s important to investigate if a manufacturer’s defect such as faulty brakes may have contributed to the accident. In some cases municipalities can be liable for overgrown foliage that obscures vision or potholes that were a factor in causing or worsening the accident. It’s important to make sure that the victim sees doctors that can testify well about the injuries, explaining how they caused significant pain and suffering. A vocational expert can be retained to prove the amount of money that will be lost in a victim’s lifetime due to an accident.
Car Accident Injury Timeline
For minor to moderate injuries, it’s usually possible to determine how much the case is worth by six months to a year after the accident. By this time, treatment is usually complete and an assessment of the lifetime impact of the accident on a person’s life is clear. For moderate to severe injuries, it can take over a year until it’s clear how much permanent restriction and disability will result. Severe to catastrophic injuries can take even longer, and require a great deal of preparation for trial in order to get the highest settlement offers. It’s important to consult with an experienced California car accident injury attorney to discuss the best way to proceed with your case.