Settling a Lakewood Auto Accident Claim
When you suffer damages as a result of another driver’s negligence, your first thought following an accident may be regarding how you are going to pay for the damages inflicted upon your car and person. In some cases, the insurance of the at-fault party may offer a settlement in order to avoid a trial. Although accepting a settlement may seem like the easiest options, you should still take the time to calculate the damages owed to you and determine whether the settlement accounts for the compensation owed to you.
For help with calculating damages, it may be important for you to retain the services of an experienced attorney. With the help of a lawyer, you could review the details of your accident to gain a better understanding of the compensation you are owed. For a free case review, be sure to schedule a consultation today.
Calculating Damages in an Auto Accident Claim
There are a variety of considerations that are made with regard to a settlement. Among them are the:
- Property damage to the vehicle
- Amount of reasonable, necessary, and related medical treatment for the injured plaintiff
- Wage loss for the plaintiff
- Non-economic damages, which includes pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
It is important for the victim to fully analyze the compensation owed to them before accepting any settlement. Insurance companies have the tendency to offer a low amount in comparison to the damages owed. By fully understanding the extent of their damages, victims could avoid accepting any low offers that would bring an end to their hopes of recovering just compensation.
Jury’s Involvement in Determining a Settlement
A jury is involved in a car accident settlement is calculated to the extent that, if the parties cannot agree on what the settlement would be, at times the jury verdict reporter is considered. The jury verdict reporter provides information on different jury trials that take place throughout the Colorado Area. The plaintiff’s attorney would consult the jury verdict reporter and try to find a case that went to a jury that has similar or same facts as the case under discussion.
When one is putting their house up for sale, they would look at what comparable property is sold for in that area. Lawyers engage in a similar practice, where they consult the jury verdict reporter and try and look at a comparable case in order to determine what a jury might think has determined the value of a case that has gone to litigation. The insurance company in turn would have to seriously consider that jury verdict as a reasonable basis for the plaintiff’s demand of settlement.
Impact of Shared Negligence in a Settlement
Negligence on the part of the injured person affects the settlement amount. Colorado is a comparative negligence state, meaning a case where the injured plaintiff had 0 percent contribution to the accident, with similar injuries and similar property damage, would be treated very differently from a case where, for example, the injured plaintiff had a 30 percent contribution to the accident. That 30 percent contribution would diminish the plaintiff’s recovery more than likely because if their negligence contributed to the accident, there may not have been an accident.
An Attorney Could Help Determine the Value of a Settlement
An attorney could help you determine the value of a settlement by looking at all of the factors involved and review the property damage, the wage loss, the loss of enjoyment of life, the policy limits, and a wide variety of other factors. In addition, a lawyer could help you better grasp the mitigating factors of any contributory negligence on your part. To learn more, or to get started on calculating damages as part of a Lakewood injury claim, schedule a consultation today.