The strength of a car accident claim is based on two factors; damages and liability. The intricacies of these two factors determine the amount of money an injured person can ask for in a car accident settlement.
The liability of a case refers to how much of the accident was the plaintiffs fault. The plaintiff is the person filing the claim, most often the victim of the accident. The defendant’s insurance company will attempt to assign a portion of the blame on the victim. The portion that is assigned will have an impact on the amount the plaintiff can ask for in the settlement.
Should the plaintiff be found 50% or more guilty they are unable to file a claim in the accident. Whatever percentage they are found responsible for will reduce their claim by that much. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be only 20% responsible for the accident, their claim is reduced by 20%.
The only exception to the rule of liability is living in a “no fault” state. Some states are “no Fault”, meaning they do not require liability to be proven. The uninjured driver’s insurance picks up all expenses related to the accident and the injured person cannot sue for pain, suffering or emotional distress.
To prove negligence and place liability on a driver, certain things must be shown to be true.
Negligent driving can include:
• not being alert to other traffic
• following behind another car too closely
• driving too fast for the weather and impeding visibility
• executing an unsafe turns
• disobeying traffic signals and/or signs
• talking on the phone and/or texting
• driving drowsy
• driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Once liability has been established, damages must be assessed. Assessing damages will determine the amount of the settlement claim. Settlements are determined in one of three methods; colossus, Multiple of specials and per diem.
Colossus is a type of software that many insurance companies use to determine the value of accident damages and injuries. Multiple of specials is another method. It comprises the sum of medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Per diem amounts are assigned day by day for the pain, suffering and damages occurred from the accident.
Finding the value of a car accident claim is hard work. It entails many factors that must be deciphered by an experienced lawyer in Sacramento for a successful claim.