What To Ask For In A Car Accident Settlement
If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident, then you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. If the incident was caused by another driver’s negligent actions in Texas, you will likely be able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or through a civil personal injury lawsuit. Here, we want to discuss how you will know what to ask for in a car accident settlement. How will you know what is fair? How do you calculate your losses? Our injury lawyers in Laredo want to answer that for you.
You Need Economic Damages
There are basically two types of compensable damages that you should seek after a car accident occurs. The first of these is economic damages, often referred to as special damages. These are the types of losses that are calculable after a vehicle accident occurs, meaning we can gather verifiable evidence that these expenses have occurred. Some of the most common economic damages associated with a vehicle accident include the following:
- Emergency medical bills
- Doctor’s office expenses
- Coverage of prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Any necessary medical devices
- Help with household services while recovering
- Lost income if a person cannot work
- Property damage expenses
Adding on these expenses is often as simple as gathering all of the invoices, receipts, and bills that come in after the incident occurs.
You Also Deserve Non-Economic Damages
The second part of the compensable damages is non-economic, and these are not quite as easy to calculate as the economic damages mentioned above. You will sometimes see these referred to as general damages, and these revolve around less calculable and fairly “unseen” losses.
Some of the most common non-economic damages that car accident victims are able to recover compensation for include the following:
- Compensation for physical pain and suffering caused by the incident
- Coverage of emotional and psychological pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Loss of consortium or companionship for a spouse depending on disability
Calculating non-economic damages will typically revolve around using a multiplier method, which means an attorney will gather all the economic damages and then multiply that total by a set number, usually a number between 1.5 and 5. For example, suppose a person is awarded $100,000 in economic damages after a car accident occurs. An attorney could use a multiplier of three to reach a general damage total of $300,000.
Be Wary of First Settlement Offers
We strongly encourage all car accident victims to be wary of the first settlement offers put forth by the insurance carriers. Insurance carriers are looking to make a profit, and anytime they have to payout on a claim, this reduces their profit margin. First settlement offers are almost always well below what a person should actually receive for their losses.
We encourage you to work with a skilled car accident lawyer in Laredo who can examine the settlement offer put forth by the insurance carrier and put together a counteroffer. In fact, it would be smart to have an attorney send over a demand letter before the insurance carrier even makes their first offer.