Have you been in a car accident in Hawaii? If so, you likely sustained physical injuries from the crash. You might also be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries. Is there a way to know how much your car accident claim is worth? Talking to a Hawaii car accident attorney is a great first step in determining the value of your claim.
Seven Factors That Affect the Value of a Car Accident Claim
Be wary of attorneys who tell you how much your car accident claim is worth during a free consultation. A lawyer can’t know how much an injury claim is worth without performing a thorough and complete investigation of your case. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we can usually estimate what a claim is worth after performing a preliminary evaluation of the case, but we do not arrive at a final value until you have completed medical treatment and we have completed our extensive investigation.
What we can tell you is that numerous factors affect the value of a car accident claim. Seven of these factors are:
1. Fault for the Accident
Under Hawaii’s modified comparative fault laws, the compensation you may recover can be reduced if you are partially at fault. For example, if you were speeding at the time of the crash and a jury finds that you are partially at fault by 30 percent, then the value of your claim is reduced by 30 percent. If a jury finds that you are 51 percent or more at fault for causing a car accident, you are barred from receiving any compensation for your damages.
2. The Type and Severity of Your Injuries
Severe and traumatic injury cases typically are worth more than injury cases involving minor injuries. Some examples of traumatic or catastrophic injuries are amputations, complex fractures, traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, spinal cord injuries, and loss of any bodily function.
3. Total of Financial Losses
The total of your financial losses has a direct impact on the value of your claim. If the other party is completely at fault for the cause of the crash, then you can receive reimbursement for your total financial losses. However, these losses have to be documented thoroughly to be included in your claim. Financial losses include, but not limited to, medical expenses, personal care, and loss of income.
4. Permanent Impairment or Disability
Permanent impairment or disability can increase the value of a claim because a victim may have future damages related to the injury, such as ongoing medical care, personal care, loss of income, or diminished earning capacity. Calculating future damages can be tricky because many factors impact the number of future damages. However, medical experts and financial experts can also assist with these claims.
5. Amount of Insurance
The amount of insurance available also impacts the value of your case. For example, if a driver carries minimum insurance coverage and has no assets you can attach, the value of your claim might be limited to the insurance policy limits, even though your damages exceed those limits. In these cases, an underinsured motorist claim against your insurance policy might result in additional compensation.
6. Pre-Existing Conditions or Prior Injuries
If you have a pre-existing condition or prior injury, then the insurance company may argue that you are not entitled to full compensation because the severity of your injury is worsened by a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies commonly use this argument in car accident cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer can develop an argument and strategy for arguing against this defense.
7. Hiring a Hawaii Car Accident Attorney
In most cases, accident victims who hire the right attorney receive higher settlements in car accident claims. Insurance companies are familiar with local attorneys, including the attorneys’ experience, skill, willingness to file go to trial, and record for winning cases. Hiring an experienced Hawaii car accident attorney can give you an advantage. The insurance company has a team of professionals working to protect its best interests. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today. You deserve to have a top-notch attorney on your side every step of the way to fight for you. Choose the best and you will have the help you want and the expertise you need to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement for your personal injury accident claim.