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How Much is My Maine Personal Injury Car Accident Settlement Worth?

The value of a car accident settlement claim is determined by many factors including the types of injuries you have, whether those injuries are permanent, whether you have lost time from work, plus your pain & suffering. Depending on the injury and depending on the cost of those injuries, the value of your car accident settlement case can vary. Be wary of any lawyer, resource, or site which claims to provide an estimate or exact figure of how much your claim is worth. Before a thorough and lengthy investigation by a legal professional of your claim and the costs incurred, this figure is extremely difficult to determine.

Factors taken into account when determining the value of a Maine car accident settlement case:

  • Magnitude, number, and extent of injuries

  • Cost of treatment related to those injuries

  • Whether or not you’ve had lost wages and the sum total of those lost wages

  • Whether or not you’re able to work again as a result of the accident

  • The total cost of damage to your vehicle/property

  • Psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, pain & suffering, etc

  • Sums you’ve paid out-of-pocket as a result of the accident

Is it possible to receive less for my settlement than it’s worth?

It’s important to keep in mind that any car accident personal injury case can be settled, but doing so too soon in the process and without consulting a lawyer may diminish the total compensation you receive. You do not need a lawyer to settle a case. Anyone can settle. However, in order to receive the full value of your case, the factors listed above must be evaluated. An expert personal injury lawyer will help you get the full value of your case plus your lawyer will also be able to fully evaluate your case’s value. A case can settle at $25,000 but be worth $100,000.

What if I just want a general sense of what my car accident case is worth?

To get a general sense of your case’s worth you can assess the seriousness of the accident itself. A majority of car accident cases are in fact quite small. $5,000 on the low-end, and around $15,000 at the highest. In these scenarios, there’s little medical treatment, little to no long-term treatment with a medical professional, and little to zero wage loss.

On the other hand, your case could be worth much more depending again on the seriousness of your injuries, the resulting damages to your property, and the overall costs incurred – both Economical and General costs. Read below to learn about the difference between Economical Losses and General Damages.

Who pays me for my car accident settlement?

It depends. Your insurance or the insurance of the other party(ies) may be responsible for compensation. An insurance company will also be involved in evaluating the damage. The insurance company will assign an insurance claims adjuster to your case. This adjuster will add up what’s called the “special” damages. These special damages are the quantifiable losses you’ve incurred, also called your Economic Losses. Depending on the facts related to your case (like the ones outlined above: degree of injuries, medical treatment, etc) adjusters will typically assign a number to your case, 1.5 – 5, which is then multiplied by the total Economic Losses. That multiplier between 1.5 – 5 can become a major source of disagreement between you, your lawyer, the insurance company, and the insurance company’s lawyers. For the record, a higher multiplier is in your best interest for a higher settlement.

What else determines the total amount of my car accident settlement?

The settlement is typically a sum total of two categories. The aforementioned Economic Losses,  plus General Damages. These General Damages are non-economic and can include:

  • emotional trauma

  • your pain & suffering

  • and any effects you experience as a result of your injuries – an effect which in legal vocabulary is often referred to as ‘loss of enjoyment.’

Do I need to document anything to prove my General Damages such as pain & suffering?

Anything you can track to demonstrate your loss of enjoyment, pain & suffering, etc will help in court. The significant and convincing nature of your evidence will aid in supporting your claim (sleeplessness, depression, loss of enjoyment of your former hobbies, etc which can be documented by a professional).

Expenses like medical bills and property damage will be documented by third parties but you must retain those documents (always keep all your receipts/invoices). Your loss of wages can be tracked by you with a document like this, and must also be verified by a doctor that you were unable to work for the time period specified.

The compelling nature of the evidence outlined above can greatly aid in making a case to support your car accident settlement. But remember, an expert legal professional may be able to help you better present this evidence, navigate the complex and dynamic nature of the insurance companies, and ensure that you’re receiving the maximum amount of compensation for your claim.

For more information about your personal injury car accident settlement, our attorneys are here to help you learn more about the process and help guide you through it. Please consult a personal injury lawyer today.