Your settlement for a car accident may vary a lot from other similar cases. There are many different factors involved in determining how much money a victim of negligent or reckless driving receives. Accident lawyers in Columbus and all around Ohio can help you get the settlement you deserve. Working with your car accident lawyer in Ohio can help you maximize your recovery. For Instance, finding your economic losses, including damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages.
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How Are Average Settlements for Dayton Car Accidents Calculated?
Determining economic damages is a complicated problem. Insurance companies and law firms do extensive research to decide what represents fair compensation for economic, non-economic and punitive damages. The amount will differ significantly for each car accident victim. For example, no two people will require the same medical procedures or experience the same degrees of pain and suffering.
Documented expenses are easy to calculate, and give merit to your case. These economic damages include:
- Medical bills for the treatment of your injuries
- Expenses for ongoing physical therapy
- Wages lost while recovering
- Lifetime earnings lost due to a disability
Columbus accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you recover damages for your injuries. They will spend time getting to know how you were impacted by the accident. Lawyers will assist with finding doctors and deal with insurance companies. They will fight for more than the average settlement for a car accident in your case.
Non-economic damages are available when a car accident causes physical or emotional trauma. For instance, when it limits the victim’s ability to engage fully in his or her family and social life. Losing the capacity to care for one’s children is compensable as a non-economic loss.
Ohio imposes limits on Dayton accident settlements for non-economic damages. Limits can fluctuate in specific cases. However, general caps are $350,000 for a single person who suffered injuries in a car crash.
Also called exemplary damages. Punitive damages are usually only available to victims of drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These types of damages are assessed as a noncriminal penalty to sanction reckless behavior. They serve as an example of what can happen to another driver who harms someone by acting recklessly.
Ohio recognizes the principle of comparative negligence. Car accident victims do not need to be completely blameless in order to hold the other driver accountable. Settlements rely on showing that the other driver deserves more than 50 percent of the blame for causing the crash.
Furthermore, a car crash victim who is found to be partially responsible will have his or her settlement reduced. For example, when a victim has been found to be 25% responsible for a $100,000 settlement. They would be paid out the total amount minus a percentage, which works out to $75,000 in this case.
In Ohio state law, a statute of limitations exists that imposes a strict timeframe to file a personal injury claim. If you fail to file within the two-year window, you may be barred from filing a claim altogether. Speaking with a Columbus accident lawyer as soon as possible will help protect you and your case.
Should You Settle or Go To Court?
The majority of injury lawsuits settle, usually well before trial. While there are many advantages to settling car accident cases, there are instances where going to court is more favorable. Since each injury case is different, there are often many factors to consider that you can review with your Columbus car accident lawyer.
Advantages of Settling Before Filing a Lawsuit
Many people choose to settle a car accident claim before filing a lawsuit in court. The advantages of receiving a quick settlement include:
- Receiving compensation faster
- Avoiding high Columbus accident lawyer’s fees
- Eliminating multiple court proceedings and appearances
- Preventing an unpredictable jury decision
It’s important to note that the other driver may carry only the minimum amount of liability insurance required under Ohio’s car insurance laws. If your medical bills and other damages exceed those minimums, and the other driver carries no additional coverage, then an average settlement for a car accident may not cover your losses. Talking to your Columbus accident lawyer can help you decide what other options you have.
Taking Car Accident Claims to Court
When an average settlement for a car accident may not be possible or advisable, car accident claims inevitably go to court. There may have been no response to your demands, the insurance company’s settlement offer may be unreasonably low, or you may feel like you’ve suffered an injustice.
Insurance companies often make settlement offers based on what they expect the court to rule. The main advantage of taking the case to trial is that you might get a larger ruling. However, if you do not have enough evidence or your case is not strong enough, your case may fail to even meet the burden of proof and the defendant may not have to pay you anything at all.
The core question to ask is whether the risk of losing at trial and receiving zero compensation outweighs the difference between the settlement offer and your estimate of the accident claim value.
How Much Can I Get for a Car Accident Settlement?
There are a lot of factors that go into a settlement. The injuries that you’ve suffered is a big factor. Next there are the damages to your vehicle to take into account. Then how the accident may you affect your life in the long run. For example, if you have a lifelong condition after the accident. Finally, the amount of fault each driver had in the accident is factored in.
Is it Better to Settle or Go to Court?
Depending on the damages done to you. If you have a serious injury you’re better off not taking the settlement. If you’ve only damaged the vehicle then you may be alright taking the settlement so long as it covers the cost of the damage.
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Prior to forming Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, Doug worked as a bodily injury claims adjuster for a large insurance company. This unique experience has been a tremendous asset to Doug in his fight to achieve maximum cash settlements for his clients in minimum time. Since departing from the insurance company, Doug has dedicated his entire legal career to helping injured clients when they need it the most.