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How Is a Settlement Determined in a Car Accident?

How Is a Settlement Determined in a Car Accident?

When someone acts recklessly and causes a preventable accident, it’s only fair to want a reimbursement for the resulting damages. You shouldn’t have to pay for the expenses out of pocket when another person is responsible for your injuries. 

One of the most common questions car accident lawyers get from victims is how much they should expect in compensation. To understand this, you have to know how the amount you’ll receive as settlement is determined first. In other words, where do the figures come from? If you’re struggling to get fairly compensated, the lawyers at AMA Law are here to help. 

Calculating a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident settlement is determined by summing up all the damages or losses you’ve suffered from the accident. How has it changed your life? How much do you have to spend to get your life back on track? 

Most car accidents result in two types of damages, economic and non-economic, but they’re not the only damages that may be available to you. Here’s what you need to know about the types of damages you may be due. 

Economic Damages

These are damages associated with direct financial expenses. Economic damages are quantifiable and verifiable losses and often involve paying for services or being unable to earn that money. 

Such damages are easier to calculate and prove than other damages. All your attorney needs are evidence like medical reports, an employer’s wages report, mechanic shop invoices, and so on to add up your economic loss.

Common economic damages from crashes include the following:

Non-Economic Damages

A car accident can impact you in many other ways, not just financially. Non-economic damages compensate for these non-monetary and subjective losses. 

Since these damages aren’t monetary like economic damages, determining non-economic damages can be challenging. You’re required to assign a monetary value to abstract things like pain or reputation damage. This is why it’s better to partner with a lawyer as soon as the accident happens to ensure you’re asking for the right amount.

Your non-economic damages may include any of the losses below:

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare and can only be awarded by a judge or jury. Unlike the two types discussed above, these damages don’t compensate for your losses but instead punish the defendant for egregious misconduct. 

In Oklahoma, punitive damages have a cap. You cannot receive more than the sum of your total damages or $100,000, whichever is less. If you believe you’re eligible for punitive damages, talk with your lawyer about your options. 

Get More Help from a Car Accident Lawyer

Are you worried that the settlement you receive might not cover all your damages after a car accident? Unfortunately, handling your claim without legal help encourages the defendant’s insurance company to take advantage of you and award a lowball settlement. 

If you were hurt in a car accident, you have options, starting with a free consultation. Call AMA Law at 405-708-7789 to help you determine the amount you should expect from your claim. You can also fill out our contact form below to reach us.