Posted in Accident Data on March 21, 2023
Montana experiences one of the country’s highest fatality rates for car accidents. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a car accident, you may wonder if you can file a car accident claim.
This is especially important if you sustain injuries that prevent you from returning to work.
If you file a compensation claim, you may wonder what type of car accident settlement to expect. Unfortunately, there is no black-and-white answer to this question.
Here you can learn how the value of a car accident claim is determined, factors that can increase or decrease the value, and how a car accident lawyer can help with your case.
Factors That Impact the Value of Your Car Accident Injury Claim
As mentioned above, several factors will impact the value of your car accident injury claim. These factors are described here.
The severity of your injuries is the main consideration when determining the compensation you receive in a car accident claim. Usually, the more serious your injuries are, the higher your settlement is.
Long-term injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord trauma will result in bigger settlements than minor injuries like bruising and sprains.
Sometimes, injuries can significantly disrupt an accident victim’s life. This includes their ability to engage in normal activities, household chores, and work.
If an injury disrupts your life, it will be considered when determining the value of your personal injury claim.
Treatment and Recovery
Usually, you will receive a larger personal injury settlement if you must undergo extensive post-injury treatment. This includes being admitted to the hospital, undergoing long-term rehabilitation and physical therapy, and having multiple follow-up appointments.
Reconstructive surgeries are also associated with incidents that require an increased level of care.
The duration of your recovery plays a role in your settlement amount. Usually, the longer the recovery time is and the more medical care you need, the higher your settlement will be.
Montana follows a comparative negligence law when determining liability and personal injury settlements. Unfortunately, this is a bit confusing.
All parties in a personal injury case are assessed for their contribution to the accident or injuries in the case. Based on Montana law, a claimant must have less contributory fault than the other party to receive financial compensation.
Because of this, liability is a huge consideration when filing a personal injury claim.
Your car accident attorney can gather evidence and investigate the accident to determine liability. They can also work with insurance companies to determine what percentages of fault each party holds.
Psychological and Emotional Trauma
The pain and suffering you experience in an accident often go beyond just your physical injuries.
It is not uncommon to experience psychological and emotional trauma after a car accident. This includes things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, fear, and anxiety.
If you can show that you sustained this type of trauma because of your accident-caused injuries, it may increase the value of your settlement.
The Multiplier Method of Determining Your Car Accident Settlement Value
When determining the value of your car accident claim, the tangible losses you experience are considered. However, part of the value is based on your emotional anguish, pain and suffering, and the loss of normal body functions.
Unfortunately, unlike economic (tangible) damages, non-economic damages are harder to quantify.
Because of this, a multiplier is often used to determine a fair value. Usually, multipliers are 1.5; however, they range from one to five based on the severity of your injuries.
What Makes a Multiplier Higher?
More serious injuries will cause the multiplier used for your case to increase. Some examples of severe injuries that cause this include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries that require you to take time off school or work
- Permanently loss of your body functions or parts
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Spine and nerve damage
- Injuries that require outside help
If you experience this type of serious injury or long-term change in your life because of an accident, the multiplier will likely be increased.
What Makes a Multiplier Lower?
While there are things that can make your multiplier higher, there are also things that can make it lower. Examples include the following:
- Soft tissue injuries only
- Limited medical treatment needed
- No visible scarring
- No need for ongoing medication
- No specialist medical care is required
- No permanent injuries
If your car accident did not lead to serious injuries, the multiplier in your case would be lower than if you experienced a higher injury.
Maximizing the Value of Your Car Accident Settlement
One of the best ways to know what your car accident is worth and to maximize the settlement you receive is to contact an attorney. The attorney you hire will know the legal procedure to help you secure the highest settlement possible.
Remember, multiple factors will impact the value of your car accident settlement. Your attorney can explain what will impact the value and why.
Contact Our Law Firm for Assistance
Securing a fair car accident settlement is not guaranteed. The insurance company will be working against you at each step of the process.
You need an attorney who will fight for your rights and help you secure the full compensation you are entitled to.
Were you involved in a car accident and need help getting the full compensation you deserve? If so, contact our experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Heenan & Cook Trial Lawyers.
We can help you with each step of the legal process.