What Factors Determine my Recovery in my Car Accident Case?
There are multiple factors that determine the value of a car accident case, i.e. the damages a victim of a car accident can recover. The following is one of the most common questions we receive from accident victims “what is my car accident claim worth?” In any injury case, but especially in car accident cases, there are multiple factors that are considered in determining the value of a car accident case, specifically your damages or expenses. The three primary factors used by car insurance companies, insurance adjusters, and juries in determining damages in a car accident case are as follows:
- Source of Recovery
DAMAGES IN CAR ACCIDENTS
In most cases, a car accident victim’s damages is the largest factor in determining the value of the car accident case or potential car accident settlement. Much of a car victim’s damage claim will be based on the accident victim’s medical treatment and medical expenses. The total amount of medical expenses or medical damages include: all past medical treatment, current or ongoing medical expenses, and projected future medical expenses that are reasonably expected due to injuries caused by your motor vehicle accident. The amount of recovery based on medical expenses or medical damages is based largely on existing medical bills and documentation that supports future or expected medical expenses, which come from medical providers.
Employment is another large factor in determining damages in a motor vehicle accident claim. Economic damages from loss of income or the loss of the ability to earn money is an important factor in setting damages in a car accident injury claim. The total economic damages related to earnings includes: all past lost wages due to your injuries and expected or future loss of income and/or earning capacity. Your total missed time at work, income, and future income or earning capacity affects the value of your car accident claim. Basically, if your ability to work now or in the future is negatively impacted based on your car accident, you are entitled to recover damages based on these types of economic damages as well as future loss of income and/or loss of earning capacity.
This car accident damages factor applies differently to different car accident victims. Meaning, a car accident victim that was a physician and missed work and future work at a very high earning capacity will recover more economic damages based on missed employment than an hourly wage employee.
Long term injuries or disfigurement are another form of damages in car accident cases. You may be entitled to damages beyond your medical expenses, if you have scarring, disfigurement, or permanent impairment or disability that resulted from your car accident. The severity and circumstances of these types of injuries play a role, as the more severe the injury or impact on your life, the greater the damages. As an example, a large scar covering a car accident victim’s face will have a life-long impact. However, many other scars will not be as visible or impactful.
LIABILITY IN CAR ACCIDENTS
Oklahoma is an at-fault state, which means you can only recover for damages in your car accident case, if you were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Basically, this question asks, “who is responsible for the car accident?” In our experience, if you are visiting our website and reviewing the resources we have for free to the public, you are likely not the at-fault party in the accident you or your loved one was involved in.
However, determining whether or not you are the at-fault party in your Oklahoma car accident is the most complex aspect of many car accident damage determinations. We often retain or involve car accident reconstruction experts to support client’s claims for fault determinations. Your chosen car accident attorney must be able to present facts to the insurance adjuster or the jury in your car accident claim to prove you were not the at-fault party.
It is very important to hire an Oklahoma car accident attorney that is a Fierce Advocate to conduct the liability investigation and build your claim for another party’s liability in your car accident damages claim. Our Fierce Advocates may visit the scene of your car crash, speak with witnesses, review the accident report, and retain accident reconstructionist to prove liability against another driver in your car accident case. You will not recover damages in your car accident claim, unless your Oklahoma car accident attorney can establish liability against another party.
RECOVERY IN CAR ACCIDENTS
In many car accident cases in Oklahoma, you will be limited to recover up to the total insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver without fighting the insurance company. You are likely wondering what the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is, if you have been involved in a car wreck that is not your fault. Oklahoma only requires minimum automobile liability insurance to driver legally on Oklahoma roads. The minimum liability insurance requirements in Oklahoma are as follows:
- $25,000 per injured person
- $50,000 for multiple injuries
- $25,000 for property damage
You may have other insurance policies available, depending on your own auto insurance policy, including:
- Uninsured or Underinsured motorist (“UIM”): UIM coverage exists to bridge the gap between your damages and the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, up to the limits of your own policy.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage can be used to pay your medical bills up to your policy limits, regardless of whether you are the at fault driver or not.
- Collision and comprehensive: Collision insurance is able to cover the costs of repairs to your car or replace of your car up to your policy limits, again regardless of whether you are the at fault driver or not.
Our Fierce Advocates will review your insurance policy and help you identify all available sources of recovery to compensate for your damages. We will make sure you understand each step of the process we take with you and handle all aspects of settlement or litigation for you in your Oklahoma personal injury claim or lawsuit.
There are many factors that are considered in determining the value of your car accident claim. However, the economic damages, non-economic damages, at-fault determination, and source of recover are the most critical to consider. Your claim and your recovery are directly impacted by the Oklahoma car accident attorney that you hire.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Car Accident 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 vehicle 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 car accident law 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 car accident case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.