No one keeps statistics on car accident settlements, most of which are not disclosed to the public.
However, you can estimate the value of your settlement by answering a few questions.
How Much are Your Economic Losses?
The purpose of a lawsuit is to make injured victims “whole,” i.e., return you to the position you would have been in had no one injured you.
To that end, you can receive compensation to cover economic losses, such as:
- The costs of medical care to treat your injury. Pull out all of your medical bills and receipts for prescription drugs and equipment like crutches, bandages, braces, etc.
- Lost wages if you were too injured to return to work. Find recent pay stubs or documents related to self-employment.
- The cost to repair your vehicle if it was damaged in the crash. Get a repair estimate from a mechanic or look up the price to replace your vehicle if it was totaled.
Add up the amounts of these economic losses. Unless you were somehow partly responsible for the collision, you should receive 100% of these amounts.
For example, Jason was struck by a car. His medical expenses total $10,000, his lost wages are $5,000, and his car will need $5,000 of repairs. His total economic loss is $20,000.
How Bad are Your Non-Economic Losses?
Injured motorists can also receive compensation for non-economic losses like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent impairment
These losses are harder to calculate in dollars and cents because no bill or receipt is attached to them. Nevertheless, you can receive compensation.
One common way of estimating your compensation is to multiply your economic losses by 1.5 to 4. For example, Jason suffered $20,000 in economic losses due to the car crash. He might qualify for $30,000 to $80,000 in non-economic damages, depending on the severity of his injuries and the pain they have caused.
As you can see, the real money is made in pain and suffering, which is where a lawyer’s skill really comes into play. An experienced personal injury lawyer can maximize your financial recovery by fully documenting all losses.
Were You Partially Responsible for the Crash?
New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence law allows injured motorists to receive compensation if their own negligence contributed to the crash. However, you cannot be more than 50% responsible. If you were more than 50% responsible, then you cannot receive damages in a lawsuit and you should expect an insurance company to deny your claim.
Let’s say Jason was 50% responsible for the crash because he was running a red light when he was hit. The amount of compensation he can receive will be reduced by his percentage of fault. Accordingly, he might only receive half the amount he was expecting in a settlement. If he was 25% responsible, his settlement amount will be reduced by a quarter.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident settlements help injured motorists gain access to the compensation they need to make them whole. However, too many motorists fail to demand as much money as they deserve. At the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, we maximize our client recoveries and have the negotiation skills to obtain a full and fair settlement. To start the process today, please call 732-422-5648.