Car Accident Settlements

Automobile accidents are not all equal in the amount of damage recovery that may be available to personal injury victims. Personal injury claims stemming from car accidents can be complicated legal issues when the parties are attempting to deflect as much fault as possible, whether it is the defendant’s legal counsel or their auto insurance provider. Because of this complicated process and the potential number of litigants, it is never a good decision to attempt car accident settlements and personal injury claims alone. There are several very important factors that are used when the damage value of a car accident personal injury claim is being calculated, and that formula can impact the settlement amount greatly. High-value automobile accident settlements can range from $100,000 up to $2 million in some cases when extenuating factors exist.

Automobile accident cases often include multiple parties who may have been responsible for the accident. In Connecticut, each party to a crash is assigned a comparative negligence fault percentage and the amount of compensatory damages that can be collected are limited by that percentage. However, individuals who are completely innocent can receive a full settlement amount of compensatory damages. In addition, there can be multiple defendants in a wreck involving several vehicles. Each individual is responsible for the amount of damage they caused in the accident, as Connecticut is a “fault” doctrine state, and the law allows the insurance levels of those multiple respondents to be combined when paying an innocent victim. In the Connecticut system, anyone who is over 50% responsible for an accident cannot recover any damages.

Compensatory damages resulting from an auto accident include physical property damage to the vehicle, recovery for medical bills stemming from the wreck, and recovery of lost wages. The lost wages component of the calculation can be a very significant enhancement on a settlement amount when the injured claimant has a high income. Recoverable value of a vehicle can be significant as well when the vehicle is a newer model. The increase in value concerning personal injuries is termed as pain and suffering and is classified as non-economic compensatory damages tied to the value of the other recoverable items.

Punitive damages are not necessarily claimable from the court, but egregious accident cases regularly go to trial. That is why it is important to have an aggressive and comprehensive car accident attorney who can demonstrate a willingness to take a serious auto accident to trial when punitive damages may be won by a sympathetic jury. This punitive potential can give your car accident attorney much more leverage when negotiating a large settlement because many insurance companies do not want to take that chance. In addition, accidents involving commercial vehicles or product malfunction will allow damage pursuit from both the driver’s insurance company and the shipping company as well in many cases. Claims against parts manufacturers are separate legal issues, so multiple claims can be available.

Never attempt to handle an auto accident case on your own, even if it appears to be a typical accident claim. Having a solid legal professional representing your claim means that you can potentially be made whole in a settlement when your attorney can present your case in a manner that lessens your comparative negligence level while pinpointing all potentially negligent parties.