Car accident injuries are probably the most common type of injury claim presented. Out of some 6.5 million car accidents nationwide each year, about 2.5 million result in injuries to motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Boston ranks second in the nation in car accident rates and first among cities with populations of over 1 million. With so many accidents, there are often complex issues of liability, insurance coverage, and proving damages. But the most common question asked of car accident lawyers in Worcester, or anywhere else, is how much is my car accident injury claim worth?
No personal injury lawyer can or should advise you of the value of your injury claim since no two cases are alike. Many lawyers are often told by clients that a friend or family member or second cousin of your father-in-law just received $100,000 for only a broken leg. While this may be true, there are numerous variables in how an injury accident claim is valued by defense lawyers and ultimately the insurer who will be paying you compensation and by juries if the case went to trial.
Factors in Evaluating a Car Accident Injury Claim
While attorneys can easily research how courts or juries awarded plaintiffs with certain injuries in a particular jurisdiction, your car accident lawyer cannot immediately tell you that your claim is worth a certain amount, give or take a few thousand. Factors to take into account include:
- Proof of liability of the other motorist
- Your own degree of comparative fault, if any
- Available insurance coverage
- If you have underinsured coverage and if it exceeds the policy limits of the liable motorist
- Severity of the impact (property damage to both vehicles)
- Nature of your injuries
- How your injuries have impacted your ability to work
- How your injuries have affected your daily living activities
- Amount of your medical expenses
- Amount of your income loss
- Any permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Probability of future medical treatment
- Probability of future income loss or loss of earning capacity
- Emotional trauma (post traumatic stress disorder)
- Cognitive difficulties
Insurers may question the reasonableness of your medical treatment or expenses, such as wondering why your chiropractor charged you $10,000 for 9-months of massages, manipulations, and use of a Tens Unit with no discernible improvement. Or, an insurer will want to know why you took a vacation to Hawaii to a golf resort but claimed you did not play despite video evidence of packing your golf clubs in your car on the day you left. In some cases, injured victims have records of numerous missed treatment sessions, long gaps in treatment, or having received care from multiple health care providers for no discernible reason.
To prevent these issues from arising, it is essential that you listen to your attorney on how to handle your injury claim, including:
- Make all scheduled treatment appointments or clearly state to your provider why you missed a session
- Take all prescribed medication as directed
- Do not substitute a medical provider without first consulting with your attorney and physician
- If your present treatment is not working, consult your doctor and your attorney
- Do not exaggerate your symptoms
- Reveal any pre-existing injuries to your attorney and to your doctors
- Reveal any prior accident claims to your attorney
- Do not conceal any criminal convictions
Living in a city such as Worcester may gain you more compensation than if you lived in a much smaller community. But the issues and variables discussed above are the ones that typically will give your attorney an idea of how much you can expect for your injuries, and provided you follow your attorney’s advice.
Retain the Tetzel Law Car Accident Lawyers in Worcester
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident, or any other type of accident, contact our offices. We will give you an honest assessment of your claim and suggestions on how to avoid missteps that could jeopardize how much compensation you could receive. Our car accident lawyers in Worcester give each injury case the attention to detail it deserves so you can receive a satisfactory resolution. Call our offices today at (617) 933-3858 for a free consultation.