Is My Car Accident Worth Pursuing?

Is My Car Accident Worth Pursuing?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles that was caused by someone else, you may be wondering if it’s worthwhile to pursue a personal injury claim. Whenever someone calls my law firm asking this question, I usually go through a checklist with them and discuss the facts in detail. The following are the main factors to consider in determining whether your car accident is worthwhile hiring a personal injury for.

How Serious Are Your Car Accident Injuries?

The severity of your injuries is one of the most significant elements in calculating the value of a personal injury claim in California. Minor aches and pains from a fender bender are far less compelling than major injuries that require surgery, hospitalization, and ongoing medical treatment. Severe injuries that result in permanent impairment or disability warrant much higher compensation. 

It’s important to have any injuries or diagnoses properly documented by qualified medical professionals. Make sure to follow all recommended treatment plans as well. Thorough medical records and compliance with treatment are essential for getting fair compensation if you pursue a personal injury claim. Neglecting this step could lead to a weaker case or lower settlement value.

What Are Your Car Accident Medical Costs?

Past and future medical expenses related to your accident are a major component of your compensation. So one of the things we look at are the medical bills from your treating doctors, whether you paid for them out-of-pocket or you were treated on a lien. We also look at your future cost of medical expenses and ongoing treatment. However, it’s essential to note that future medical costs and ongoing treatment often outweigh past expenses. To assess future medical expenses accurately, we may refer to similar jury verdicts or publicly available settlements.

The key here is to save all receipts and track costs like ambulance fees, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, assistive devices, and any other accident-related care. Remember, the greater the medical costs, the higher the potential value of your claim.

What Are Your Lost Income and Profits From the Car Accident?

If you have been in a car crash and cannot work, it is crucial to include the income you have lost in your insurance claim. Similar to medical expenses, we not only take into account past lost wages but also consider future loss of wages, lack of earning capacity, or diminished earning potential. However, it is essential to note that these losses must be directly related to the injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

Be diligent about documenting the time you’ve missed for doctor appointments, recovery periods, and any instances where you couldn’t work at full capacity or had reduced hours. Remember, it’s not just about the medical aspects – the income you can prove you’ve lost due to the accident is a vital part of the damages you can recover. So, document all those missed hours and appointments to ensure you’re compensated for both your medical and financial losses.

What is The Other Driver’s Liability in the Car Accident?

To decide whether it is worth pursuing a car accident claim, one of the first things we do is to determine who is at fault and to what extent. We evaluate whether liability is clear or could it potentially be disputed. The clearer and more provable the negligence of the other driver, the stronger our negotiating position becomes. On the other hand, if liability is uncertain, it makes a claim more difficult to prove and less valuable overall.

How Much Insurance Coverage Is There for the Accident?

Perhaps no single factor I discuss with my client after an accident is more important than the availability of adequate insurance. This includes insurance for the driver that caused the accident and insurance for our client who is pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver. Let’s face it, without sufficient insurance, there will not be an adequate monetary recovery. And without an adequate recovery, you will be properly compensated for your car accident injuries and the attorneys won’t have an incentive to bring an insurance claim or lawsuit. 

Higher insurance policy limits mean a greater chance you’ll receive full and fair compensation. So as a first step, in any injury claim in California, we research the coverage amounts applicable to your claim, including Uninsured and Underinsured motorist policies. 

How Much Pain and Suffering Did You Suffer After the Accident?

The physical pain, mental anguish, trauma, distress, and disruption to your normal life activities caused by a car accident are essential factors in your insurance claim. Documenting emotional suffering can significantly impact the value of any injury settlement, so we always encourage injured victims to thoroughly record how the accident has affected their life. 

In many injury cases, pain and suffering damages comprises a significant part of the recovery. That’s why we may use an expert witness to more accurately quantify your past and future pain and suffering in dollar amounts. Not only can using such an expert increase the value of an injury claim, but it also lends legitimacy to the entire process.

How Long Has it Been After the Car Accident?

I will never forget when an elderly gentleman called me on January 30th asking to file a lawsuit against the person who had caused a hit-and-run accident. He had spent months recovering from broken bones and lost significant wages. I began listening intently and asking all the questions I could think of. I thought he had a strong claim, until I asked about the date of the accident. He replied: January 15th. My heart sank as I was left with the difficult task of explaining that the time limit to file a lawsuit had expired. It was an emotional conversation. I truly wanted to help this man, but couldn’t because the 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California had passed.

Every state has strict time limits on filing personal injury lawsuits. It’s crucial to act promptly in pursuing a claim. I advise consulting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident to avoid exceeding California’s 2-year statute of limitations. Missed deadlines could eliminate your chances for compensation.

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts in Los Angeles

One of the most common questions I get every time a new client wants to retain me is “how much is my car accident claim worth?” As a starting point, the amount of settlement in any car accident injury settlement will vary based on the specifics of each case. We already discussed some of the factors above, but it’s important to remember that the severity of the injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses play a key factor in the final settlement value of a case. 

However, data on average settlement ranges can provide a general benchmark. Here are some hypothetical examples of typical settlement amounts based on injury severity and other factors:

– Minor Injuries from a Car Crash: For less serious soft tissue injuries like whiplash or minor cuts/bruises, settlements may range from $3,000 to $25,000. Factors like medical bills and lost wages are the most important elements insurance companies consider. 

– Moderate Injuries From a Car Crash: More significant injuries like broken bones, concussions, and injuries requiring surgery may often settle between $25,000 to $75,000. Fractures often require longer recovery periods and thus warrant higher settlement amounts.

– Severe Injuries From a Car Crash: For catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage, brain trauma, or amputation resulting in permanent impairment, average settlements may be from $150,000 up to $1 million or more depending on severity. We often try to show how these types of injuries are life changing and really deliberating.  

– Permanent Disability From a Car Crash: Settlements for permanent disability and loss of quality of life may exceed $1 million in compensation, and sometimes reach multi-million dollars. For example, accident victims who lose a hand or a leg will require lifelong accommodations, such as accessible vehicles or homes, and these tend to be extremely expensive. 

– Wrongful Death From a Car Crash: When a fatality results from the accident, wrongful death settlements may average between $1 million to $5 million or more, based on factors like lost earnings capacity and family circumstances.

Keep in mind that each case has unique aspects that may increase or reduce the ultimate settlement value. An experienced California personal injury attorney can best advise what settlement amount may be achievable given your particular injuries, losses and liability facts. Don’t accept an insurer’s lowball offer before fully understanding your case’s worth.

Hire A Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles Immediately

An experienced and top personal injury lawyer near you can provide invaluable guidance when determining if your car accident claim is worth pursuing. They will undertake an extensive case review to rigorously assess the claim’s value based on all relevant factors and evidence we discussed above. If a personal injury lawyer determines your case has validity and value worth pursuing, he or she will handle all aspects of the legal process for you. Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning legal fees only come out of any settlement or court award so you don’t pay any out-of-pocket fees or upfront costs. This removes financial risk for clients. With legal guidance, valid claims can result in maximum compensation.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries and losses in a car accident caused by someone else, take action promptly to protect your rights. Schedule a consultation with an accomplished Los Angeles car accident attorney to have your potential injury claim thoroughly evaluated at no charge. You may have a very worthwhile case. Don’t leave compensation on the table – an injury lawyer can build leverage to get you full and fair damages.

Scroll to Top