If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another driver or other at-fault party, you deserve compensation for your losses. How much is your claim worth? That is a complex question with many facets.
How will this injury affect you?
A crucial step in valuing your claim is assessing total damages, including medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering. Medical treatment can leave you with an enormous financial burden when you factor in medications, hospitalization, doctor visits and other expensive needs. You will need adequate compensation to cover these expenses.
A serious motor vehicle accident can affect your life in many ways, many of which may surprise you. You may suffer emotional trauma in addition to physical suffering. You may not be able to partake in hobbies, sports and other activities you once enjoyed. Your personal injury attorney must take all of these factors into account when valuing your claim.
Who will pay?
Another important factor in pursuing compensation after a car accident is determining who is at fault. Your attorney will need to investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine if drunk driving, distracted driving or other negligent conduct was at play.
If a driver’s misconduct was especially reprehensible, you may be able to seek punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages discussed above. These damages are designed to punish wrongdoing and deter others from engaging in the same type of reckless behavior. They can also substantially increase the total amount of compensation in a personal injury claim. Arkansas law once placed a hard cap on punitive damages, but that is no longer the case and recent attempts to reinstate a cap have failed.
What amount is fair?
Only after thoroughly reviewing the factors at play in your accident (including your injuries and the conduct of the at-fault driver) can you arrive at a fair estimate of the value of your claim.
If an insurance company makes you an offer, you should not accept it without first consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is your one chance to obtain compensation for all of the hardships you will face due to your accident injuries, and your needs may be greater than you think.