Factors that Impact Car Accident Settlements in Boston
When a car accident occurs, there are many factors that could affect a settlement, such as damages, injuries, evidence, and shared negligence. However, our car accident lawyers in Massachusetts can review the facts of your claim and help determine a settlement that covers the full value of your injuries.
There is no set way to determine how much a car accident settlement should be worth. Each case is unique, and each side uses the evidence at its disposal to argue for the best outcome. Thus, numerous factors could impact how much you recover in compensation. Nonetheless, we know the most effective strategies to help maximize the settlement you receive.
Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review with our car accident attorneys.
What Factors Can Impact a Car Accident Settlement in Massachusetts?
There are numerous factors that could impact how much compensation you recover in your car accident settlement. Our Massachusetts car accident attorneys have extensive experience in evaluating clients’ cases to ensure they receive the highest possible settlement. Each case must be examined by attorneys representing both lawyers for victims and insurance companies to assess its strengths and weaknesses. During this process, they will identify factors that can be used to argue for an increase or decrease in the settlement amount.
Factors That Can Increase a Car Accident Settlement
The severity of your injuries is a crucial factor in calculating the settlement amount. The more severe your injuries, the higher the likelihood of receiving a substantial settlement. This is because victims of severe car accidents often require extended medical treatment, with some never fully recovering. If you are unable to work for an extended period or at all, this can further increase your settlement amount.
Additionally, the defendant’s conduct at the time of the accident and afterward can also impact your settlement amount. For example, if the driver who caused the accident was drunk or attacked you in a fit of road rage, your settlement should include additional compensation to account for these damages.
Factors That Can Decrease a Car Accident Settlement
If you played a role in causing your car accident, this will have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you receive. If the evidence suggests that you were at fault or if the police issued you a ticket afterward, the insurance company might use this to lower your settlement or reject your claim.
During the settlement process, the insurance company will seek to shift the blame away from their client and onto you. Any behavior on your part that could be seen as contributing to the accident could result in a substantial reduction in the amount of compensation you recover. If there is evidence of contributory negligence, the insurance company will use it to its advantage as much as possible.
However, even if you played a role in your accident, you might still be able to receive compensation. This is possible as long as it can be argued that you were not responsible for more than 50% of the accident. In that case, the court will provide compensation for your injuries, deducting the percentage you were found to have contributed. However, if your fault is determined to be 50% or more, you will not be eligible for any compensation.
The Role of a Jury
A jury could help calculate a settlement by deciding how much the damages are in a case when the settlement negotiations have failed. When the parties have been unable to reach a settlement, that is when they put the case in the hands of the jury during trial.
Even though the case is in court, or a lawsuit has been filed, the parties could still and oftentimes continue settlement negotiations up until the time that the jury comes back with the verdict. It is possible that while the jury is deliberating, the parties reach a settlement.
Juries have a role to play in determining the settlement value by researching how similar cases are, such as how much they have awarded or how much they have calculated and included in their verdicts.
Another way that a jury could have involvement in a settlement value is if the insurance company was confident going into trial. The longer that the jury is out deliberating may impact the way the insurance company views the case. It might push them to reconsider and to offer more money than they had, even to the point before the case went to the jury.
There are two other factors impacting car accident settlements. The first is negligence, and the second is damages. We can help, first and foremost, by collecting and presenting evidence to show that the car accident was caused by the negligence of the defendant and the way they operated their car. Our firm can do that by documenting the accident, gathering documentation concerning the accident, such as witness statements apart from the two parties involved and independent witness statements that would support that the defendant, through his or her own negligence, caused the accident.
We can also document the points of contact and the impact on the vehicles by obtaining photographs of the vehicles, going to the scene of the accident as quickly as possible, and being able to take photographs of the scene. If there were no signs of any tire marks from braking, that could be used to show that the defendant made no attempt to brake or avoid an accident. In addition, sometimes, there might be security cameras in the area, either private or public, that might have captured the crash on video.
If there is any bruising on the body as a result of the impact, either with airbags, seatbelts, or any impact on any part of the interior of the car, a lawyer would be able to document that. They could also send the injured person for a medical exam with a medical expert to be able to cover the injuries that they received.
Compensation That You Can Recover in a Car Accident Settlement in Massachusetts
When you are injured in a car accident, it is reasonable to expect a settlement that covers all the damages resulting from the injuries incurred. This can include medical treatment and time off work to recuperate from the accident. Additionally, there might be a need to replace a damaged or totaled vehicle. If the accident was caused by another driver, they are responsible for compensating you for these losses and often more.
When you have been injured in a car accident, your medical expenses are often a significant part of your personal injury settlement. These expenses cover the costs of treating your physical injuries and often make up the bulk of a victim’s damages. Medical bills might include emergency room visits, hospital stays, chiropractor sessions, physical therapy, prescription medications, and any other costs you incurred to treat your injuries. It is important to consider potential future medical treatment your injuries might require, such as surgery, when negotiating your settlement.
If you were unable to work and lost income due to your injuries, you have the right to receive payment for that lost income. The amount of lost income compensation is calculated based on the number of days you were unable to work and the amount of money you would have earned during that time. This compensation can be significant if your recovery takes a long time. You should not agree to a settlement that does not include compensation for lost income. In serious cases, a fair settlement should also provide payment for any future income loss resulting from permanent physical limitations or other complications caused by the injuries sustained in the car accident.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for non-economic losses, such as physical and emotional pain resulting from an accident, is provided through pain and suffering damages. This includes damages for emotional distress, anxiety, and depression, along with disfigurement, PTSD, and loss of enjoyment in life due to a car accident. While pain and suffering damages are more challenging to prove as they are subjective in nature, they are frequently awarded in car accident cases that go to trial and should be included in your final settlement.
Compensation for damages to your vehicle and any other property damaged in an accident should also be included in your settlement. Estimates can be used to show these damages if your car has not been repaired yet when negotiating the settlement. If your car is considered a total loss, it is important to request fair market value in your settlement. Additionally, cell phones damaged in the collision should also be considered.
Our Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our car accident attorneys, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.