When you’re injured in a car accident, the entire process can often be overwhelming. After all the trauma and stress of coping with the accident, you’re usually ready to move on and heal, but this can be difficult when you’re still shouldering financial burdens from the accident and injury. A settlement is a way for many people to get the compensation they deserve without long court proceedings, but how do you make sure that you’re getting a good one?
Your damages from the accident are still the same whether you settle or follow through in court, and it may save you some time and hassle, but it does for the other party as well. You still need to be compensated acceptably for the damages that you received as a result of the accident, and you don’t want to settle for anything that leaves you facing significant financial hardship due to someone else’s problems. With a clear understanding of what damages you need to be compensated for and help from your car accident attorney, you can negotiate a settlement that both expedites the process and gets you the compensation you deserve.
How Is a Settlement Amount Determined?
A settlement isn’t usually a number just thrown around at the negotiating table, but complex calculations typically go into it to ensure that the situation is probably mediated. Reaching a settlement will be about a number of factors that could affect the amount of compensation a settlement offer may include. These are often many of the same calculations that you and your lawyer have done before filing a claim to determine what damages you’ve suffered, as they are an incredibly important piece of getting you fairly compensated.
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Compensation that Is Typically Awarded from a Car Accident Claim
Understanding what damages are typically awarded from car accident claims is incredibly important to reaching a favorable settlement. You still experienced direct consequences of the crash, and you shouldn’t be left shouldering that burden.
These are damages that relate directly to a monetary value, such as vehicle damage, medical bills, or lost wages. These are fairly straightforward to factor into a settlement negotiation because they are hard costs that you have paid for due to the actions of another.
In the case of catastrophic or long-term injuries, this may include future medical bills and lost wages. If the accident will continue to cost you money in the future, you need to be compensated accordingly.
Non-economic damages are those which can’t precisely have a price tag assigned to them. These can be more difficult to negotiate a value for during a settlement negotiation.
For serious injuries, the pain, stress, trauma, and decreased quality of life is a critical hardship created by the accident. In the case of life-long, serious injuries, these damages can be much higher than in less severe cases.
What Can Affect the Compensation Awarded for a Car Accident in Nevada?
Since the settlement amount you receive is going to be at least somewhat based on what the other party expects to pay in court, knowing what potentially affects compensation in car accident cases is critical to negotiating a great settlement. Every accident is unique, and different circumstances may affect compensation heavily.
Obviously, the severity of the accident and your injuries will have the biggest effect on what compensation you could potentially receive. There are a few other key factors that often have can drastically alter your compensation as well here in Nevada.
Insurance Minimums Can Affect Your Damages Award
In Nevada, drivers are required to carry at least certain minimums in insurance coverage. While some motorists could potentially have insurance that covers larger amounts, for most people, it will be far easier to collect any compensation that’s covered by their insurance. The amounts of coverage that any driver must carry under Nevada Law are:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury
- $20,000 in property damage
In addition, your insurance may cover some of your damages in some circumstances. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you could potentially be compensated in part if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
How Comparative Fault Works
In Nevada, the law recognizes that more than one person may have had a hand in causing an accident. If you were partially responsible for an accident, the amount you would be rewarded in court would be reduced. If comparative fault applies in your case, it will similarly affect the settlement amount that you may receive.
Courts usually determine a proportional degree of fault for an accident that more than one person helped cause. If you were 20% responsible, for instance, you would be rewarded your claim amount, minus the 20% that you were responsible for. If there was a shared fault in your case, expect this to come into play in your settlement.
Maximizing the Settlement for Your Car Accident
Getting the best settlement isn’t about hardball negotiations as much as it is about knowing what compensation you’re entitled to and coming to a reasonable arrangement where those needs are met. Just as if your claim would be resolved in court, your car accident attorney will help you outline exactly what damages need to be rectified, and help you negotiate an acceptable settlement.
Insurance companies will often want to settle right away, but don’t rush into any deals. Your attorney can help analyze the settlement and ensure that they’re not short-changing you before you have time to think. A good settlement is one that makes sure that the damages you sustained are adequately rectified.