How Much to Expect From a Car Crash Settlement in Missouri?
After a car crash, it is common to wonder how much your case may be worth and if you deserve compensation. There is no precise amount that you are entitled to after an accident, and several different factors determine how much you can recover.
The insurance company will offer a specific amount, but this may not be enough to cover your losses. You will need to discuss your options with a Missouri car accident attorney.
How does a Missouri car crash attorney determine compensation?
After a car crash, the amount you can expect to recover depends on the damages you suffered.
Your injuries will determine much of this, but your calculation might include other damages in your demand package, such as:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Physical pain and suffering
Depending on your accident and your injuries, you may be entitled to other economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are often easier to calculate as receipts and bills prove your damages. Non-economic damages are harder to determine as they are not tangible losses. These are losses that you have sustained that did not have a direct financial impact on your life.
A Missouri car accident attorney can use two methods to calculate your potential compensation for non-economic damages. The multiplier method consists of your economic damages multiplied by a predetermined number. Missouri courts most often use this method.
Another method for calculating non-economic damages is the per diem method. The court will assign a value to one day of your injuries and damages. This court will then multiply this amount by the projected number of days you experience pain. Courts cannot use this method for life-altering or permanent injuries.
Missouri courts do not often use the per diem method because it is difficult to prove how many days you were in pain or will be in pain. The multiplier method is typically preferred. However, only an experienced attorney can advise you on the possible outcome and the best method for your case.
Some accidents support an attorney filing for punitive damages. The court only awards punitive damages when the at-fault party acts recklessly or grossly negligent. This standard of conduct doesn’t apply to every case, and you must discuss your options with an attorney familiar with how punitive damages work.
How common are car accidents in Missouri?
While you might assume that car accidents are not common, they are. In a recent year, there were 818 fatal crashes in our state, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
Across the country, more than 37,000 died in car accidents.
Accidents happen regularly for these reasons:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Fatigue or drowsy driving
- Taking red lights or stop signs
The negligent party who caused the car accident should pay for your losses after an accident. In some cases, you can hold other parties, such as an employer or a parts manufacturer, responsible.
How is fault determined in a Missouri car accident?
Missouri is an at-fault state which focuses attention on car accident claims. This standard essentially means that to obtain compensation for a car accident, you must prove that the other party was guilty of causing the accident. Once the fault is apparent, a Missouri car crash attorney can file a claim on your behalf for compensation.
You can file a car accident claim directly with your insurance company and attempt to obtain a settlement this way. You can also file a claim with the other party’s insurance company. If neither of these routes leads to fair compensation, your attorney can file a lawsuit. There is one caveat, however, with these claims.
Missouri House Bill 339 implemented the premise of “No Pay, No Play.” This law means that if you drove without the state minimums for car insurance, the law might prohibit you from obtaining additional compensation. You may instead only cover your medical bills.
What is the average settlement amount?
While there is no fixed amount of compensation after an accident, history shows some trends. Most car accidents that do not have any injuries usually result in settlements that cover the bodywork and other property damage, which can be a few thousand dollars.
Settlement offers are much higher after accidents that DO result in injuries. Typically, accidents like these will settle for enough to cover all medical bills, lost income, and additional compensation for pain and suffering.
There are, of course, many factors to consider to determine the proper settlement amount. Work with a car accident attorney to calculate a fair settlement amount between you and the insurance company, as most unrepresented car accident victims underestimate their losses and wind up with less than they deserve.
How long until you settle a Missouri car accident case?
Like the original question about how much your claim is worth, determining how long it will take depends on several factors. In a car crash that does not have injuries, the timeline is much shorter, and you can resolve a claim in a few weeks in many situations.
Cases involving injuries can take months or even years to resolve. An initial settlement offer is typically insufficient, and negotiations can often extend the timeline for a settlement. Never focus on how long a case might take – instead, focus on getting the results you deserve.
When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, you will realize how willing the attorney is to represent you at trial. Going to trial should not scare your attorney. A trial is another way for your attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve when injured in a Missouri car accident.
Calling a Missouri car accident attorney can help your case
Some telltale signs mean you should call a car accident attorney in Missouri. If you suffered an injury in a car accident, you must contact an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Law firms work with accident victims and their families to obtain a fair settlement for any injuries and damages after various accidents.
The sooner you call to schedule your free case evaluation, the sooner you will start moving toward full compensation for your losses.