After a car accident, few of us have the clarity of mind to consider a settlement. Most of us merely consider seeking medical attention, and rightly so. First and foremost, seek medical help for your injuries. Then, and only then, consider filing a lawsuit. If you’re unclear on how to best handle the insurance company, speak with a local attorney. You’ll want someone on your side no matter what. An auto accident attorney will help achieve the most significant injury settlement possible.
Settlement Factors for Damaged Vehicles
If your insurance claim includes damage to your vehicle, your settlement will typically cover the cost of repairs or replacements. For example, if the side door is damaged, then your settlement will provide compensation up to a reasonable amount of the repair job. The exception to this rule is if the repair exceeds the value of the car. In this situation, the insurance company typically “totals” the vehicle and pays you for the loss.
On the other hand, replacement costs are generally based on depreciation value, not the price of a new car. This means the money you receive may not be enough to purchase a new vehicle after the old one is totaled.
Settlement Factors for Injuries
If you’ve sustained injuries, which is likely, the personal injury portion of your settlement will be negotiated separately from vehicle damage. For example, if you’ve suffered a broken arm, you’ll receive compensation to cover medical bills to a certain point. The payment you receive is determined by total medical bills, documented lost wages, and the extent of your injuries. Some reports also consider pain and suffering.