Value of a Riverdale Car Accident Case
If another driver’s carelessness caused you an injury in a motor vehicle accident, they are responsible for paying your damages. However, you may have difficulty assessing your case or effectively fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Several factors influence the value of a Riverdale car accident case, and estimating how much might be paid out in a specific claim is not an exact science. However, a local car wreck attorney could advise an injured person about the factors that influence the size of a damages award.
At-Fault Driver’s Coverage Limits
The biggest factor in the value of a car wreck is often not the severity of the claimant’s injuries, but the insurance coverage limits of the at-fault driver. Insurers do not settle cases for more than their insured’s coverage limits, regardless of how aggressive an injured person’s attorney might be.
When the at-fault party is a commercial driver or was driving for work, the employer’s insurance often is sufficient to cover an injured person’s losses. When the at-fault driver was using their private car for personal reasons, however, their coverage could be inadequate.
Georgia requires drivers to have liability insurance coverage of at least $25,000 for personal injuries to one person, $50,000 for personal injuries per incident, and $25,000 for property damage. Given the high cost of health care, a person who required significant medical treatment after a car accident might incur costs that exceed these coverage limits.
If the at-fault driver was illegally driving without insurance, the person they injured in the car wreck has limited recourse. A lawsuit could be an option if the uninsured driver has assets, otherwise the injured person must turn to their own insurer for coverage.
Injured Person’s Coverage Limits
If the at-fault driver has no insurance and the injured person purchased optional uninsured motorist coverage, that coverage should reimburse their expenses up to the coverage limits. When the at-fault driver’s coverage limits are insufficient, the victim’s own underinsured motorist insurance could help cover the difference.
Navigating the nuances of automobile liability policies is complicated. A lawyer could help an injured person in Riverdale identify all possible sources of insurance coverage to maximize the value of their car accident case.
At-Fault Driver’s Assets
When insurance does not cover all the injured person’s damages, a lawsuit might be the only remedy. If the at-fault driver is employed, owns a business, or has a home or other assets, a lawsuit could result in a damages award that would cover the injured person’s losses. A savvy injury attorney could uncover the at-fault driver’s assets and determine whether pursuing the driver in court is a viable option.
Damages in a car accident case could include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses;
- Income lost if the injuries prevented the plaintiff from working;
- Diminished earning capacity if the injury will prevent the plaintiff from resuming work;
- And/or compensation for the plaintiff’s pain & suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and other intangible effects of the injury.
In rare cases, someone who suffered injuries in a car accident in Riverdale might seek punitive damages, which could increase the value of the case. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-12-5.1, punitive damages are available only when the at-fault driver’s behavior was so reckless that it could lead to a presumption of indifference to the welfare of others. Driving drunk, drag racing, or similar behavior could support a claim for punitive damages.
Talk to a Riverdale Attorney About the Value of Your Car Accident Case
Assuming adequate insurance coverage or personal assets, a competent injury lawyer could negotiate to obtain a fair settlement that reimburses your out-of-pocket costs and acknowledges the trauma of the accident and any ongoing impacts it has on your quality of life. A lawyer could use their deep knowledge of the process to maximize the value of a Riverdale car accident case. Schedule a case review as soon as possible to get an experienced advocate working for you.