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What is the Car Accident Settlement Average?

Published October 15, 2015 by Bruce Millar

What is the Average Car Accident Fatality Case Worth?

When you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Georgia car accident, the biggest question on your mind is likely this: how much is your case worth? This is a difficult question to answer. While it is true that car accidents resulting in injuries are generally worth less compensation than car accidents in which there are one or more fatalities, the precise amount of compensation you might receive – in other words, what your case is “worth” – will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The amount of losses you have already sustained;
  • The amount of losses you are likely to sustain the future as a result of the car accident;
  • The strength of your case and claims (i.e., how much evidence you have to support your side of the story and your claimed expenses);
  • If yours is a car fatality lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased loved one, your loved one’s age, general health prior to the accident, pain and suffering the deceased endured, the value of the deceased’s companionship, and any lost future earnings the deceased might have earned;
  • The defendant (the “at-fault” party), his or her financial resources, insurance coverage, and how much the defendant wants to “fight” your claims; and
  • Other relevant factors.

In sum, it is difficult – if not impossible – for an attorney to give you a more precise estimation of your case’s value without evaluating the unique facts and circumstances of your Georgia car accident case. A car injury case may be worth several thousand dollars if you suffer no permanent injuries; a car fatality case in which a young loved one dies, however, can be worth millions of dollars. This is why it is imperative to have your case evaluated by an experienced and skilled accident attorney.

Do I Need an Accident Lawyer if I Plan on Settling My Case?

Anyone can settle his or her own car accident case, regardless of how much (or little) legal education and background that person has. This, of course, is not meant to imply that settling your car accident case by yourself is a good idea. Some car accident injury victims make the mistake of assuming that, because they intend on settling their case, legal assistance from a knowledgeable accident attorney is of little value. They may even assume that they can obtain more compensation without an attorney because they will not have to pay those “high attorney’s fees.”

Trying to settle your case without the assistance of an attorney can be challenging and leave you with too little compensation for your injuries and losses.

How Do Lawyers Help With Settlements?

Negotiating a settlement after a car accident is more difficult than it might appear. Your settlement agreement must be carefully drafted so as to protect your legal rights to compensation because most settlement agreements require you to waive your right to seek future compensation through a lawsuit. As a result, the terms that are included in the settlement agreement must contain a compensation amount that is reasonably related to all of the expenses you have suffered and are likely to suffer in the future as a result of your injuries as well as payment terms that enable you to receive compensation when you need it.

An experienced accident attorney helps you by not only ensuring you obtain the best settlement terms as possible (depending on your specific needs and desires), but also in making sure these terms are accurately memorialized in a written settlement agreement.

How Do I Obtain a Car Accident Settlement?

The law allows the parties to settle their dispute at any time prior to a judge or jury rendering a dispositive decision in the case. Although settlement talks can begin at any time – even before a lawsuit has been filed or on the eve of trial – settlement talks usually begin early in the life of the lawsuit. Since one of the purposes of a settlement for the at-fault party is to limit his or her expenses, he or she will want to settle the lawsuit without expending much in attorney’s fees and other related expenses.

Either party can begin the settlement process by seeing if the other party is willing to consider settling the case. This usually begins by the party offering the other party terms and conditions that the offering party would find agreeable in exchange for settling the dispute. It is common for this “first offer” to be rejected and countered by the other party. The two parties will continue to negotiate back and forth over the precise terms and conditions, with the injured party seeking to obtain as much as possible in compensation and the at-fault party generally wanting to resolve the case for as little money as possible and without a formal finding of fault.

Assuming that the two parties can reach terms that are mutually agreeable, the settlement agreement is reduced to writing and, if necessary, presented to the court for approval. The settlement agreement will usually indicate the amount of compensation the injured party will receive and how the settlement amount will be paid (i.e., in a lump sum or in periodic payments). The settlement agreement should also indicate what would happen if the at-fault party does not pay the agreed-upon settlement amount pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

Who Can I Call if I Have More Questions?

It is common for car accident injury victims and the families of injury or fatality victims to feel confused or overwhelmed in the aftermath of a car accident. The Millar Law Firm is here to help you and your family through this difficult time. We fight aggressively to protect our clients’ legal rights and obtain the financial compensation they need. Contact us for a free case evaluation by calling (404) 620-4378.

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