If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision in California, you might be wondering who will pay for your medical treatment, time off work, and your vehicle damage. Understandably, many prospective clients are curious to know how much these types of claims are worth.
However, there is no average settlement amount for a rear-end collision or any other kind of personal injury claim. We evaluate all auto accident claims individually, based on their own merits. Contact the northern California auto accident lawyers at Wells Call Injury Lawyers to discuss how much your claim is worth.
We have decades of combined experience assisting injured clients just like you following an injury accident in California. We understand how the claims process works, and we know the tactics insurance companies use to undervalue your claim.
To better understand what your case is potentially worth, here’s a look at some factors that impact your case value.
Injury Type and Severity
One of the first factors that determine the value of your claim is your injury type. The nature and severity of your injury play a crucial role in your case value. Whiplash is common following a rear-end collision.
Someone who has minor whiplash that heals within eight weeks would have a different value than someone who suffered a significant neck injury that required surgery.
You might assume that all rear-end collisions are straightforward when it comes to liability. If someone rear-ends you, they must be at fault. However, that is not how liability works, especially in California.
Before you can collect any compensation, you must prove the other driver was negligent.
When it comes to determining negligence, California is a pure comparative state. If you share fault for the accident, you can still collect a portion of your damages. This rule could have a significant impact on your case value.
For example, if a jury determines you are 10% at fault for the accident, you could collect 90% of your damages. If you are 90% at fault, you would collect only 10%.
Remember that works for the other driver as well. They can collect a portion of their damages from you, even if they are primarily at fault.
Total Amount of Damages
The total amount of your damages also impacts your case value. Your damages are your financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. Damages also include intangible losses, such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, etc.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages. The law reserves punitive damages for cases involving intentional or egregious acts, such as driving under the influence. If a drunk driver rear-ended you, you might be entitled to pursue punitive damages.
Available Liability Coverage
California has low liability insurance requirements. Drivers are required to carry only $15,000 per person for injuries, $30,000 per accident for injuries, and $5,000 for property damage.
If a driver carrying minimum limits hits you, the maximum you could receive through their insurance is $15,000 even if you have $100,000 in damages. If you had two other occupants in the vehicle, the maximum is $30,000 split between all three occupants However, you can never collect more than the maximum individual amount of $15,000.
In a case where your damages exceed the available amount of coverage, you could pursue a claim on your own policy through your underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage if you added it to your policy.
If your damages are $100,000, and the at-fault party has only $15,000 in coverage, your UIM might cover the remaining amount, or a portion of it, depending on the circumstances and how much UIM coverage you purchased.
Contact a Northern California Car Accident Lawyer
Did you suffer injuries in a rear-end collision caused by another driver? If so, you have the right to pursue a claim for your damages. Don’t worry about what the average auto accident settlement is. Instead, find out what your case is worth.
Let the skilled team at Wells Call Injury Lawyers assist. Our primary goal is to protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss the potential value of your case.