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How Much Is Your Car-Accident-Injury Claim Worth?

Determining Compensation in a Motor-Vehicle-Accident Lawsuit

How Much Is Your Car-Accident-Injury Claim Worth?If you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you have a right to pursue legal action to require that that person t0 compensate you for your losses, including wages and income, unreimbursed medical expenses, and physical pain and suffering. Your immediate concern might be how much you can expect to receive from a personal injury lawsuit. How will the court calculate the amount of your losses? What factors will affect the amount you receive?

Establishing Liability for the Accident

Most legal claims are based on allegations of negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant—the person being sued—did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances, and that their failure to do so caused the accident. In a motor vehicle accident, the failure to act reasonably can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Failing to obey known or posted traffic laws; for example, using excessive speed, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, or making an illegal turn or lane change
  • Failing to pay attention to the roadway while looking at a handheld device, adjusting the radio, looking in the backseat, or looking at the side of the road
  • Failing to maintain a vehicle in safe operating condition
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to adjust driving to account for an adverse weather or road condition

You must also convince the jury that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had acted reasonably, and that the accident and the injuries you suffered were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s failure to act reasonably.

Damages in a Motor-Vehicle-Accident Claim

You can only recover compensation for actual losses. Losses covered by insurance are typically not available in a personal injury lawsuit. The damages available fall into two general categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that can be precisely calculated, such as lost wages or income, unreimbursed medical expenses, and property damage. Non-economic damages are intangible and include physical pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The amount you recover can be reduced if you are found to be partially liable for the accident. The legal theory of comparative negligence allows the court to determine the percentage of your fault and lower your damage award accordingly.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

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