You were in a car accident and you’re asking, how do you put a value on a deep cut across your face that requires 16 sutures and will leave a permanent scar? What is a broken vertebra worth that causes severe pain, and loss of work, and forces a necessary back surgery? Will you ever feel right again? What if the surgery is a failure? How much can I get from my car accident claim in Salem OR?
There is no standard for defining how much a claim for personal injuries from a car accident is worth. Every case is unique and the barometer of how much a case is worth is the amount a jury will award in a given jurisdiction. Some juries are more conservative than others and it’s more difficult to get a good jury verdict in more conservative jurisdictions.
Car accident lawyers look at prior case history in similar situations with similar damages to estimate the value of your case. In addition to general damages for pain and suffering, there are fixed costs that contribute to the overall value of your claim. Things like your medical bills, personal property damage, and lost wages are examples of these.
While the majority of cases are settled out of court, we still need to undertake a diligent approach to the case in terms of investigating the accident, documenting evidence, and preparing the case for the possibility that it goes to trial.
Insurance companies also estimate the value of your car accident claim in Salem OR, and they are required by law to set aside a reserve for a claim based on this estimate. Keep in mind that the insurance company will likely want to minimize the amount they have to pay for your claim. So letting the insurance companies know about your injuries, their severity, and that there’s an attorney involved is important for getting as high a settlement as possible for your case.
Also as a general rule, the more severe your injuries, the higher a value you can expect from a settlement or jury verdict. For example, a case of neck strain that heals in 3 months is not going to have as high a value as a case with a herniated disc, multiple surgeries, and lifelong disability. But, you can recover if you have any damages and you can prove that the other driver was negligent in causing the accident.
It can take quite a long time to process a claim depending on the nature of your injuries and how long it takes you to heal. During this time, you have some options for paying the medical bills and covering lost wages. What you can do is file a Personal Injury Protection claim with your own insurance carrier. This is coverage that you are required to carry in Oregon, so it is insurance that you already have. This coverage may pay your medical bills and your lost wages.
The Law Offices of Brian Whitehead is an experienced car accident attorney who will advocate for you to get the highest value on your car accident claim in Salem OR. If you’ve been in an accident in the Salem area, contact us to schedule your free case evaluation.