What's My Car Accident Case Worth?
The damages available for each car accident are different, largely depending on the individuals who get into the crash. What might be a minor collision when a young person is involved, for example, may result in more serious injuries when an elderly, vulnerable individual is involved. If you are wondering what your car accident case is worth, the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm may be able to evaluate your circumstances and help you understand the damages that may be available.What's My Car Accident Case Worth?
Compensatory damages available in California include special and general damages. Special damages are usually concrete damages, which are likely to be documented. For example, medical bills, lost wages or income, out-of-pocket expenses, and other economic damages are special damages.
General damages are noneconomic damages that attempt to quantify intangible harms, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and disfigurement and scarring. Although it is difficult to put a dollar figure on suffering, the plaintiff and their family may testify about what they lost due to the accident, and the jury will try to determine what that is worth. A skillful trial attorney who is able to persuade the jury as to how much you lost may make a big difference to the value of your general damages.
In some cases, insurers will compare your case to other similar cases to estimate how a jury is likely to value your noneconomic damages and offer a settlement amount accordingly. For example, if your arm is fractured in a car accident, they may look at past jury verdicts related to fractured limbs in order to determine the pain and suffering damages that you are likely to be awarded. Social stereotypes may play a role in noneconomic damages. For example, a young woman is often assumed to have suffered a greater loss if she is scarred in a visible place, such as her hands or face, than an elderly man would be.
Your damages may be reduced if a defendant successfully establishes comparative negligence. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, a plaintiff's damages are reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if your case is worth $300,000, but you were found 50% responsible, you might be able to recover $150,000.
Punitive damages are damages meant to punish a wrongdoer and deter future similar acts of wrongdoing. They are rarely available in a car accident case in California. However, they may be available in egregious instances of drunk driving. Generally, the amount of punitive damages depends on how egregious the defendant's actions were and the defendant's wealth.Seek Guidance from a Los Angeles Lawyer Following a Car Crash
At Sharifi Firm, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you determine what your car accident case is worth and represent you in a lawsuit for damages. Insurers often put profit ahead of people, and skillful legal representation may make a big difference to what you recover. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our firm also represents victims in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, Riverside, and San Bernardino, among other Southern California cities.