Car accidents are complex events. There are often numerous factors that play a role in determining how and why they occur. The same is true in valuing your car accident claim. Rushing into a settlement and failing to consider the total amount of losses you are likely to suffer could leave you paying significant amounts in out-of-pocket costs. At Shapiro & Appleton, our top priority is helping you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to in your claim. As experienced Virginia car accident attorneys, we thoroughly review all aspects of your case to determine the total value. The following are major factors we consider.
Valuing Your Car Accident Claim
According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), more than 131,000 car accidents occurred throughout the state over the course of 2018. These crashes leave close to 70,000 people suffering potentially serious car accident injuries. In filing a claim, you have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover. To ensure you get the maximum amount, the following are ten important factors our legal team will carefully review when valuing your case:
1. How the accident happened.
Car accidents can occur in parking lots or on highways and local roads you regularly travel. They may involve rear end collisions, side impact crashes, head on collisions, or impacts with fixed objects. Determining exactly how your accident occurred is the first step in valuing your claim.
2. Identifying any at fault drivers involved.
Adverse road, weather, and traffic conditions increase the risks of car accidents. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that the underlying cause is generally reckless driving behaviors on the part of others. At fault drivers can be held accountable when their actions leave you with serious injuries.
3. The evidence collected at the scene.
The scene of the accident provides valuable clues in your case. Evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and images or film from nearby store cameras or traffic signals all help to prove your claim.
4. Whether you received prompt medical care and followed the doctor’s instructions.
It is important to get medical attention immediately after a car accident, regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms. Not doing so or failing to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding work or activity restrictions can impact your rights in a claim.
5. The seriousness of your injuries.
The seriousness of your injuries and the amount of time expected for your recovery are all important factors in your case. In addition to your medical expenses, you are entitled to reimbursement for the lost wages you suffer.
6. The potential for ongoing disabilities.
Even seemingly minor injuries can leave you suffering permanent and ongoing disabilities. Your doctor and other medical experts need to be consulted to determine the future costs and expenses you are likely to incur.
7. The amount of property damages suffered.
You need an accurate estimate on the damages to your vehicle and whether repairing or replacing it is your best option. If you had items in your car that were destroyed in the crash, such as a laptop or other electronics, these expenses must be factored in as well.
8. Any insurance policies in place.
If your car accident is caused by another driver, their insurer may be liable for your damages. If they were uninsured, your own policy may cover some of your losses.
9. Your rights in a personal injury claim.
Rather than settling with the insurer, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at fault driver in court. Under the Code of Virginia, you have up to two years to file this type of claim. If the amount the insurer offers is too low or if the other driver was engaged in particularly willful and negligent conduct, it may be in your best interests to file this type of claim.
10. Having an experienced Virginia car accident attorney on your side.
Having an experienced car accident attorney working as a strong legal advocate on your behalf is one of the most important factors in valuing your case and getting the maximum amount you are entitled to.
Contact Our Virginia Car Accident Attorneys Today
When car accidents leave you suffering serious injuries, you can count on Shapiro & Appleton to help you get the compensation you need to recover. To schedule a free consultation, call or contact our Virginia car accident attorneys online today.