How Much Can I Get From My Car Accident in Everett?
There are many dangerous roads in Everett where motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are seriously injured every day. Some of these accidents are even fatal. Highway 99 and 522 have seen plenty of crashes and Highway 2 has had so many fatal accidents occur between Everett and Stevens Pass that it’s now called “The Highway of Death.” Every month or two, the notorious undivided highway takes lives, often in horrible head-on collisions.
If you were seriously injured in a car accident in Everett – whether you were a driver, passenger, in a taxi, on a bus, cycling or walking, it’s important that you contact a reputable, experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the event. Accident and medical information must be collected immediately to preserve your rights to a settlement and any delays can mean a reduction in how much compensation you may get.
What Determines How Much I Will Be Compensated?
The short answer is that it depends. There is not simply a price list for a certain type of car accident, but there are different factors that contribute to the settlement negotiations including:
- Type and extent of injuries suffered
- Total of medical treatment expenses
- Future medical treatments needed
- Any permanent impairment from injuries
- Who caused the accident
- Details from police reports
- Eyewitness accounts, video or audio of accident
- Lost wages and limitations on future work
- Impairment of other driver
- Insurance company
Why Are These Factors Important?
The amount of compensation your attorney can obtain for you is driven by all of these factors and if any are extreme, this can increase your settlement. For instance, if your injuries are severe and the other driver was totally at fault, your settlement is likely to be greater. If the driver of the vehicle at fault was impaired or distracted in some way – drunk, on drugs, texting or asleep at the wheel – your settlement is likely to be greater. If your injuries keep you away from work for a length of time or impair your ability to work in the future, your settlement is likely to be greater. An experienced attorney will use these factors to negotiate the best settlement possible for your circumstance.
What Could Decrease My Settlement?
The biggest factor that could drastically reduce your settlement is interaction with insurance companies. In a multi-vehicle accident, there will be two or more insurance companies in the mix. Yours, theirs and any other vehicle involved. If you were cycling or a pedestrian, there will be the company of the vehicle that struck you. Despite what their friendly TV ads indicate, insurance companies are not in the business of paying out money willingly to accident victims. This holds true even if it’s your own insurance company. They are in the business of business and that means minimizing cash outlay – no matter how badly you are injured.
Whatever an insurance company can do to decrease your settlement, they will. This is why hiring an experienced car accident attorney is critical. After an accident, you should never talk to any insurance company – yours or the other party’s. Instead, let your attorney handle all communications. Even if you have already verbally negotiated a settlement, as long as you haven’t signed anything, there may still be room to negotiate. The insurance companies don’t want you to have legal representation. Without an advocate fighting for you, they will try to play hardball and push a low offer on you and may mislead you about what your rights are. Insurance companies will often tell you that their offer will remain the same even if you hire an attorney and that you will lose money by having representation. This is categorically untrue. The bottom line is the fastest way to decrease your compensation is to trust an insurance company – any insurance company – even your own.
What Can Increase My Settlement?
Your best shot at getting a fair settlement that will pay your medical expenses, any future treatments, reimburse you for time lost from work and any limitations on future work, pain and suffering and other expenses is to hire an experienced attorney. By working with an attorney who has a winning track record, you stand the best chance of winning a fair settlement for your case. Negotiating directly with an insurance company will NOT increase what they pay you – the opposite is true. Do not make the mistake of trying to handle your own case. Remember you are not trained, knowledgeable or experienced in this arena. You will make mistakes and will likely reduce the value of your case.
There are a couple of other factors that can impact your settlement negatively. First, rushing back to work while you are still injured can decrease your settlement, prolong your recovery and can even aggravate your injuries, preventing them from healing. Damage you do to yourself after your car accident will be your fault, not the insurance company’s, so it’s important that you do yourself no harm. If you are hospitalized, stay as long as your doctors recommend. Once you are recuperating at home, follow all the advice you are given by your doctor, keep all your follow-up doctor appointments, take all prescribed medication and take care of yourself.
What Should I Do To Protect My Rights to Compensation?
If you, a friend or family member are seriously injured in a car accident (or if you lose a loved one in a car crash) – after dialing emergency services – contact an Everett area car accident attorney as soon as possible. You’ll want an attorney nearby who can give your case the attention you need, who is familiar with local courts and roadways and has experience in handling similar car and motor vehicle collisions. Second, follow your doctor’s directions. Any deviation from doctor’s orders can be used by an insurance company to blame you for your pain or injuries and decrease your settlement.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, Everett area attorney Rob Kornfeld is ready to take on the insurance companies and fight for you. With over 30 years of experience, Rob knows how to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Rob at (425) 353-5130 or toll free at (800) 282-4878 or by email to Rob@Kornfeldlaw.com or by clicking here. He will get right back to you and give you a quick answer to any question you may have. Your consultation is free and the advice can be life changing. Visit www.Kornfeldlaw.com for additional information.