What is the Value of My Car Accident Claim?
Car crashes are among the leading causes of serious injuries in our region. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), 105,382 people were hurt in traffic collisions in the state in 2020 alone. A major accident can change your entire life in a matter of seconds. It is essential that you are able to secure the full financial compensation you need to pay your bills.
You may be wondering: What is my car accident case worth? The answer depends on several different factors—including your ability to prove liability and the extent of your damages. In this article, our Raleigh personal injury attorney explains the key things you need to understand about the value of your car accident claim in North Carolina.
North Carolina in an At-Fault Car Accident State
As a starting point, it is vital that you understand that North Carolina is a fault-based auto insurance jurisdiction. The driver, truck company, or another party who is determined to be at fault for the accident is responsible for any resulting damages and injuries. Your ability to prove fault will go a long way toward determining the value of your car accident claim.
Notably, North Carolina is one of a minority of U.S. states that still uses a pure contributory negligence standard. It is a harsh and unfriendly system for plaintiffs. If you are found to be partially at fault for a car accident, you may be barred from recovering any financial compensation for your injuries and damages through a legal claim.
Car Accident Claims Tip #1: An experienced attorney must thoroughly investigate every crash. A lawyer will help you gather and prepare the evidence needed to prove fault.
The Value of Your Claim is Based On Your Damages
In North Carolina, the settlement (or verdict) you get after a car crash is generally designed to be compensatory. In other words, the value of your car accident claim is based on the actual damages you have suffered as a result of the accident. Here are the two primary categories of damages in an auto accident claim in North Carolina:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages are those that have a specific, quantifiable cost. These may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Your attorney will be able to calculate the total value of your economic damages by adding up all of your bills and receipts. Though, it should be noted that anticipated future medical bills and diminished earning capacity should also be accounted for in a settlement.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they are not associated with a specific dollar amount. These may include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your attorney will use various factors to determine the value of your non-economic damages, such as the severity of your injuries and the impact the accident has had on your daily life.
Car Accident Claims Tip #2: Do not underestimate your non-economic damages and future losses. An auto accident injury settlement should provide full and fair financial compensation.
A Car Accident Attorney Will Help You Maximize Your Financial Compensation
You do not have to go up against aggressive insurance companies alone. Following a catastrophic crash, a North Carolina auto accident lawyer will help you take action to maximize your financial recovery. Most often, this will involve your lawyer negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
No matter how your case progresses, it is imperative that your damages are well-documented. The big insurance companies put a lot of resources into trying to resolve car accident injury claims for less. You need to be prepared to prove the full extent of your losses, including medical bills, wage loss statements, and other evidence that establishes the pain and hardship you endured.
Car Accident Claims Tip #3: Do not fall behind the insurance company. They will raise an aggressive defense. Consult with an attorney right away after a car accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a North Carolina Auto Accident Injury Lawyer
At Green Mistretta Law, PLLC, our North Carolina car accident lawyers are experienced, dedicated, and compassionate advocates for injured victims. If you have questions about the value of your car accident claim, we are here to help you pursue the total amount of compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today for your no-cost, comprehensive consultation. With an office in Wake Forest, we represent car accident victims in Raleigh and throughout the surrounding region in North Carolina.