What Factors Determine How Much I Can Recover for My Car Accident Case?

In Car Accidentsby johncannon

One of the most common questions we receive from new clients is “What is my car accident claim worth?” When you have been injured through the negligence of another, there are a number of factors which play in to what your potential recovery may be. There are three primary factors personal injury attorneys and insurance companies use to analyze your potential recovery.  Those factors include:

  • Liability
  • Damages
  • Source of Recovery

LIABILITY

In short, liability means, who is responsible for causing the car accident? It is likely that the other party was at fault for your accident, if you are here searching for more information about the value of your car accident claim. However, if you or your personal injury attorney are unable to present sufficient facts and credible witnesses or information to a jury to support that other party is responsible for your accident, your chances of recovery are severely reduced. Oklahoma is a Fault State, which means in order to recover damages, both economic and non-economic, for a personal injury claim, you must be less than 50 percent responsible for your accident or personal injury.

The point of liability or fault, is highly contested, largely because of the level of importance it holds in personal injury cases. If you are liable for your car accident or personal injury, than it is

unlikely you will be able to prevail at trial for your claim. This is part of the reason why it is very important to hire an Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney that has experienced in conducting liability investigations and building claims for damages. Your Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney may visit the scene of the crash, speak to witnesses, evaluate the accident report, and develop your claim to support recovery. You will not recovery compensation or obtain judgment in trial for your damages, if you cannot prove liability against another party.

DAMAGES

Damages are the largest factor in determining the potential value of a car accident claim. Damages consist of economic and non-economic damages in personal injury.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are costs that would otherwise be out of your pocket as a result of your personal injury claim, i.e. medical bills and property damage. The largest portion of economic damages in personal injury claims is typically medical bills. Past medical bills and future medical bills or projected costs of future medical care can add up to a large sum of money. Any and all treatment that you require as a result of your personal injury claim or car accident should be covered by the responsible party or their insurance company. Your Oklahoma personal injury attorney will support this claim for damages by compiling and presenting your medical bills and expected future treatment to the insurance company.

Another area of economic damages is lost income or the inability to earn money. This type of damages includes past lost wages and future lost income or diminished earning capacity, due to your inability to work following your personal injury. Your total missed income and negative impact on the amount you earn will play a role in the amount of damages in your personal injury claim. This is a major determining factor in your damages following a personal injury claim. The severity of your injuries, the impact on your ability to work, and the level of income you earn plays a large role in the damages you can seek for lost income or earning potential.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are far less concrete than medical bills or vehicle repairs; however, they can be a substantial source of damages and recovery. Non-economic damages in a car accident or personal injury claim are intended under Oklahoma law to compensate you for all the negative impact your accident has caused you and your loved ones, beyond economic damages.

The following is an abbreviated list of the types of non-economic damages common in personal injury claims:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Mental Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of Use of a body part or limb
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Inconvenience
  • Suffering
  • Emotional Distress, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, etc.

One unfortunately common area of non-economic damages includes life altering consequences of a personal injury, i.e. disfigurement or loss of a limb. You can recover for scarring or disfigurement that happened as a result of your car accident or personal injury. The impact of the scar or disfigurement determines the damages associated, i.e. large and severe scars or scars that others or you will see every day affect the value of the associated damages. An example would be that a large scar across your forehead from being cut by glass would result in more compensation or damages than a scar to your upper arm that you will not see every day.

If your injuries include any life changing circumstances or you suffer an injury that is permanent, you should be compensated by damages for those injuries.

SOURCE OF RECOVERY

Even if liability and damages are established, you must still have a source of recovery or you will receive nothing. You can only recover what the other party has in insurance or assets, unless a bad faith case is present. Even a judgment for damages in the millions will be capped by the insurance policies and defendant assets, unless you can open the policy against the insurance company. Many cases will be limited to the amount of liability insurance coverage, which is a minimum of $25,000 per injured party in Oklahoma. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify all insurance policies at issue in your case and ensure you maximize your recovery.

Many factors determine what sources of recovery are available for your personal injury claim, if there is a potential bad faith claim against the insurance company then there is no limit to the recover you can obtain, short of the insurance company having the resources to pay your compensation. It is essential to get counsel from an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney, if you believe there is a potential for a bad faith claim against the insurance company.

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Personal Injury Advocates

Experience matters when you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of the negligence of someone in a personal injury accident in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma personal injury lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of personal injury law and car accidents in Oklahoma. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for accident victims and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and National Trial Lawyer Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon &Associates to protect your rights and fight for compensation in your personal injury case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.