After a serious car accident, you may be thinking about filing a lawsuit. Before you decide, it’s helpful to know whether pursuing a claim for your injuries is worthwhile. The most common questions victims ask our team of auto accident lawyers concerns their potential compensation. Here’s a guide to help you determine how much to expect from your car accident settlement.Do You Have a Case?
Because every accident claim is unique, the amount of compensation a victim may receive spans a wide range. A car accident settlement can vary from $20,000 to millions of dollars, depending on several factors. Typically, the more severe and long-lasting the plaintiff’s injuries are, the larger the settlement will be.
For example, our firm won an auto accident settlement of $2,700,000 for a young child who suffered a closed head injury while riding in a car that was rear-ended by a bus. Another client received $1,250,000 after sustaining multiple fractures in a car accident. And, our lawyers won $300,000 for a young man who needed arm and elbow surgery after being struck by a van.
Sometimes, compensation for victims with less serious injuries may be limited to the liability insurance carried by the at-fault driver. After July 1, 2020, the minimum liability limits were raised from $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
Below are some of the most common factors used to determine an accident settlement. Keep in mind, however, that every case is different and may involve other variables. Always ask your accident lawyer for advice about your individual situation.
As a car accident victim, it’s normal to wonder when you’ll receive your car accident settlement. Some accident claims can be settled in a matter of months, while others may take a year or more to resolve. Generally, it takes longer to settle a case where the victim has sustained extremely serious injuries because there is more at stake. In those situations, insurance companies often try to avoid liability by claiming the plaintiff’s injuries do not meet the legal standard for a threshold injury. In addition, the other driver may try to blame the plaintiff for causing the accident. Furthermore, an experienced lawyer may advise a victim to wait until the full extent of the injuries are known.
Here are some of the steps that may be necessary in order to reach a settlement:
As we’ve mentioned before, hiring a lawyer is not required, but it is highly recommended for a number of reasons:
To claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, you must be less than 50% at fault for an accident. If you are more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you are not eligible for these third-party damages. What’s more, Michigan is a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means your degree of fault affects the amount of non-economic compensation you may receive.
Non-economic, or “third-party,” damages can be upwards of $1 million, partially depending on how catastrophically the victim is injured. Therefore, insurance companies will typically try to prove the plaintiff was primarily responsible for the crash. With a skilled accident attorney on your side, you are far more likely to win the settlement you deserve.
Finally, it is important to note that fault is only a factor when it comes to receiving non-economic damages. Drivers are eligible for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
In Michigan, a plaintiff must suffer what is known as a “threshold injury” to be eligible for non-economic damages. The law defines this as kind of injury as “serious impairment of body function,” serious disfigurement or scarring, or death.
Additionally, the 2019 No-Fault reforms include a new, more stringent definition of “serious impairment of body function.” To meet this standard, the injury or impairment must affect the person’s ability to lead their normal life, even on a non-permanent basis.
A reputable accident lawyer will not charge any up-front fees to take your case. Auto attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they don’t collect their fees (typically one-third of the verdict or car accident settlement) until your case is resolved. In addition, most accident lawyers charge for out-of-pocket expenses such as obtaining and copying medical records. However, in most cases, plaintiffs do not have to pay these costs before they receive their settlement.
Car accident law is complicated, but finding the right auto accident attorney in Michigan is simple.Do You Have a Case?
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, remote no-obligation consultation from the safety of your home.
Get The Bernstein Advantage® today!
Free. Simple. Quick.