When you live in a busy metropolitan area like Orange County, the chances are you will need some means of transportation, most likely a car, to get around and fulfill daily tasks.
Unfortunately, with so many drivers on these Californian roads, the risks of getting into a car accident are pretty high. That’s why it is important that you learn about the main causes of car accidents so you can take precautionary measures to stay safe and avoid sustaining severe or fatal injuries.
Car Accident Settlement Tips
However, if you do get into a car accident in Orange County, your first step would be to hire an accident attorney to provide you with legal guidance. In a devastating situation like this, it is only natural to wonder about your legal rights as well as what the average settlement for a car accident in Orange County is. To gain a better understanding, here are five factors that determine your car accident settlement.
1) Type and severity of your injuries
Car accident injuries range from minor to catastrophic. In many cases, the type of injury you sustain in the crash as well as its severity can increase the value of your car accident settlement.
There are different types of auto accidents that warrant different settlements. For example, a driver who sustains a brain injury or a spinal cord injury in a crash may receive more money for a car accident claim than a person who only breaks their arm.
However, don’t let this stop you from seeking legal advice and financial recovery for any minor injuries you sustain. The reality is you have been hurt, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, because of someone else’s careless driving and you deserve compensation for it.
2) Fault and liability for the crash
If another person is solely responsible for the car accident, then you will probably be entitled to full compensation for any injuries and damages you sustain. However, if you are partially at fault for causing the collision, your financial recovery will likely be reduced.
In most states, there are comparative fault laws that indicate that compensation will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you or the other driver has for the cause of the accident.
In other words, if a person is more than 50% responsible for the crash, they won’t be able to receive a larger compensation than the person who is less than 50% responsible for the accident.
3) Insurance coverage
Another factor that can play a major role in determining your car accident settlement is insurance coverage. If the driver who caused the crash has a minimum or no insurance coverage at all, the chances are you may receive a minimum compensation or nothing at all.
If you end up in such a situation, you could still file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, but if they don’t have the assets to pay the claim, you might end up without recompensation.
Because of this, all drivers in Orange County are required to have minimum liability insurance. However, be mindful that not all drivers follow the law.
4) Medical bills and financial losses
Most car accident victims are entitled to compensation for their financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses if another driver is solely responsible for the collision. Some examples of common financial damages include:
- Loss of income
- Medical bulls including treatment and surgery
- Travel expenses to doctor’s appointments
- Personal care costs
- Medication and medical supplies
- Physical and occupational therapies
In order to be righteously reimbursed, you should have documentation of all of your financial damages and expenses to ensure that all amounts are included in the claim.
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering can also have an impact on your car accident settlement and they are calculated by multiplying the total financial damages by the multiplier.
5) The statements you give about the accident
Your actions and the statements you give about the accident can have a significant impact on your injury claim.
For example, if you apologize for the accident, that may be interpreted as if you are solely responsible for the crash. Also, if you tell the first responders that you are fine after the accident and don’t seek medical immediate attention, the insurance company is likely to argue that you didn’t sustain any injuries or damages in the crash. This will simply mean that you won’t be entitled to full compensation.
To avoid making any mistakes, be sure to have your accident attorney with you to provide you with legal guidance.
When living in the O.C., it is crucial that you are being extra careful when driving. While some car accidents can be avoided, there may be times when you will find yourself in an unpleasant car crash in which you sustain physical, mental, and emotional injuries or damages.
In this case, it is advised that you immediately seek medical attention as well as legal guidance from an accident attorney to help you file a claim and get you the best settlement.
For more information about this matter, read our guide to learn which factors determine a car accident settlement.