You do not always get a settlement from a car accident. If your representative and the at-fault party’s legal or insurance company representative cannot reach a settlement agreement, your case may have to go to court to reach a final resolution. In addition, according to California Civil Jury Instructions No. 405, any settlement or other monetary award you might receive could be diminished if you are found to have any percentage of fault for the accident.
Your legal team can negotiate with the at-fault driver and attempt to prove the at-fault driver’s liability for your accident by demonstrating the elements of negligence. These elements include the at-fault driver’s:
- Duty of care
- Breach of his duty
- Cause of your injuries
- Financial consequences
Once negligence is proven, your lawyer may assist you in adding up the accumulated bills, anticipated expenses, and intangible costs that form the basis of your personal injury claim.
Reaching a Financial Settlement Is a Complex Negotiation Process
Entering settlement negotiations and reaching an agreement may take time. With the guidance and direction of your lawyer, you may consider each settlement offer you receive. The final decision is yours, and you will sign documents releasing the at-fault party from further liability once you agree to a settlement.
You may want to wait for all injury bills and related expenses to arrive before negotiating a settlement because a speedy settlement offer may not completely reflect all costs associated with your accident. If that happens, you might be left paying expenses that should have been included in your claim calculation. Your lawyer may help you review each offer you receive with the goal of fighting for you to receive a favorable financial settlement.
Damages You Might Recover from a Car Accident Settlement
Your legal team may help you understand and define the types and amounts of compensation you might be able to receive. California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2 may entitle you to recover these financial damages from the at-fault driver:
- Accumulated and anticipated medical expenses
- Accumulated and anticipated loss of earnings
- Repair or replacement of property
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Mental and emotional suffering and distress
- Loss of society, companionship, or consortium
- Funeral and burial costs, if your loved one died in the accident
Your car accident case may have additional expenses and losses that make valuing your claim a unique experience. Your lawyer may assist you in establishing a monetary value for your claim to ensure accurate negotiations.
Your Recoverable Damages Have a Time Limit
You are generally entitled to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in California, according to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. Running out of time to file your personal injury lawsuit could mean the at-fault driver is not held accountable for his actions. It could also mean that you may not receive financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer may be able to help ensure the timely filing of your lawsuit and avoid running out of time.
These Documents May Prove Your Injuries and Their Cause
Post-accident documents may play a vital role in proving the cause and the resulting costs of your accident. Your medical records and bills alone can be substantial if your injuries require you to be diagnosed or treated by multiple health care professionals in multiple facilities. Your lawyer may require a complete accounting of your health care files along with these other documents when handling your case:
- Photos of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle
- Footage from traffic, residential, or commercial security cameras
- Statements from accident witnesses and passengers in your car
This collection of evidence may help point to the other involved driver’s fault or prove the physical and financial extent of your injuries. Be prepared to supply your legal team with these documents or authorize them to acquire them on your behalf.
Do Not Stop Fighting for Financial Compensation
It might be difficult to understand the variety of ways you might be compensated after a car accident. While you do not always get a settlement from a car accident, you may still be able to collect financial damages from the at-fault party in other ways.
We are committed to the fight for compensation for our injured clients. Whether your case is resolved with a settlement or by going to court, our legal team is on your side. Contact Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (866) 559-7223 today.