When you are involved in a car accident, you may want to know if you are eligible for compensatory damages. Another thing you may want to know is the actual worth of your claim. An Augusta car crash lawyer can provide you a general estimate of your car crash claim.
However, a number of factors need to be considered when creating an estimate. These factors determine whether or not you have a valid claim, and what is the expected payout amount once your claim is successful. Here is a look at these factors.
Factors That Affect the Worth of Your Augusta Car Crash Claim
Some important factors that can impact the value of your claim include:
Extent of Damages
The severity and degree of the losses you suffer in an Augusta car crash directly impact the worth of your claim. The larger are your losses in an accident, the greater is the worth of your claim.
If an accident results in some dents on the car and whiplash, the compensation amount will be significantly small. On the other hand, if an Augusta car crash wrecks the windshield, headlights, and the front of the car while also causing a broken leg or arm, the amount of compensatory damages will be significantly larger.
Nature of Damages
The nature of damages also affects your payout in a crash claim. This is particularly the case with car crash injuries. Some injuries, even though severe, are easier to recover from. Others can take a long time, sometimes even a lifetime, to fully heal. Similarly, some seemingly minor injuries may cause severe pain. The pain, suffering, impact on the quality of life, and the expected timeline to recovery, are all factors considered in determining the worth of a claim.
Georgia has a comparative negligence law in place. As per this law, you are entitled to recover compensatory damages in a personal injury claim as long as you are 49% or less responsible for the incident. If you are 50% or more liable, you are entitled to no compensation whatsoever.
If you are 49% or less at fault, your compensation is proportionately reduced. For instance, if you are entitled to $30,000 in damages but you are found to be 20% at fault, your payout is reduced to $24,000. The remaining 20% is removed as a penalty for your degree of negligence. Likewise, if you are entitled to $10,000 in damages but found to be 40% at fault, you will receive only $6,000.
Gross or Deliberate Negligence
In situations where a party was grossly or deliberately negligent in causing an Augusta car crash that resulted in your injuries, you may be able to recover additional damages. These are recoverable in lieu of punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party for their reckless conduct. In situations where gross or reckless conduct is obvious in a car accident, the punitive damages alone can range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars.
Availability of Relevant Evidence
The amount of evidence that backs a car crash claim also has a bearing on the amount of money you can expect to recover for your claim. If there is solid and extensive evidence to back your claim, an insurance company will be less likely to haggle and more willing to pay up. If vital evidence is lacking, the insurer will balk and try to negotiate with you to reduce your payout. So the more evidence you have, the more you likely to secure a larger settlement.
Mitigation of Damages
Once you have suffered damages in a car accident, you are legally required to take steps to mitigate these damages. For instance, if you are injured, the law expects that you would seek suitable treatment. If your damages worsen due to inaction, you will not be able to recoup additional compensation. Instead, a jury may look negatively at such conduct and even have your payout reduced. This is why it is important to ensure that you do all that you can to minimize your damages after an accident.
Why Hire an Augusta Auto Accident Lawyer?
If you have suffered losses in an Augusta accident, it is important to hire a qualified lawyer. A good lawyer will help you file a claim for damages and back this claim with the right evidence. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. In doing so, we negotiate with the insurers on your behalf and secure the best settlement that covers all your damages. Call us today for a free consultation with our lawyers.