June 16, 2021 Posted In Personal Injury
A variety of factors can affect a personal injury case and the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. Here are the most common.
If your injury is permanent, or if you cannot resume a similar lifestyle to the one you lead before the accident, your case’s value can dramatically increase. For example, an injury that impacts your daily life or causes you to depend on others in ways you didn’t need to before has a much higher claim value than a broken arm.
If there is strong evidence to support your claim that another party is at fault, it can exponentially increase your claim’s worth. On the other hand, if there is insufficient evidence of the other party’s liability and you were mainly to blame, you may struggle to recover adequate compensation. California operates under a pure comparative negligence system. That means your percentage of fault will reduce the amount of personal injury compensation you recover. For example, you may be awarded $20,000, but if you are found 60% to blame for your injury, you will only receive $8,000.
Most personal injury claims are settled between the injured party and an insurance company. However, the at-fault party’s policy limit can play a significant role in the amount of compensation you receive. An insurance carrier typically will not pay beyond the policy limits, which means if your losses exceed the maximum amount allowed, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party personally for the difference.
There must be medical documentation to prove your injuries are a direct result of your personal injury accident. If you did not seek medical care immediately following the incident, the at-fault party or their insurance company can fight the fact that the accident caused your injuries. Similarly, if you stop treatment or stop following your doctor’s orders too soon, the at-fault party may argue you have healed. All of which can decrease your claim’s value.
How you interact with the at-fault party’s insurance company can directly affect compensation for your personal injury claim. An insurance adjuster may tell you they need a recorded statement to verify the facts and process your claim. This is a common tactic used to gain information from you before you have time to consult with a personal injury attorney. The company knows that anything you say can later be used against you in your case.
If the insurer does accept liability, they may pressure you to settle your claim quickly, but this amount is often much less than your claim’s actual value. It is always best to consult with an attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster or to have your lawyer handle the interactions on your behalf.
The extent of your other financial losses will also be factored into the overall value of your personal injury claim. An insurance claims adjuster or a jury will typically consider:
Different cities or counties can place a higher value on various aspects of a personal injury claim, which means the physical location where your claim is filed in California can impact your compensation.