How to Maximize Car Insurance Claims and Settlements
An experienced Millburn car accident attorney ready to fight for you
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent party, you have the right to take legal action to recover financial compensation. Most cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement between the two parties. But how much should you expect in a settlement? How do you know if you are getting the amount of compensation you deserve?
Attorney David Leigh of The Leigh Law Firm, P.C. fights for the injured in Millburn and throughout Essex and Union counties. He understands how an injury from a car accident can affect victims. He guides clients through the legal process and is dedicated to helping them maximize compensation.
How are car accident settlements calculated in New Jersey?
You can suffer a wide range of damages in a car crash that can impact your life for years. It’s important to be able to reach a settlement that covers the full cost of those damages. All of these damages can be categorized as either economic or non-economic.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value. Examples include:
- Medical expenses – These include all expenses for treatment related to your injuries both now and in the future. Examples include ambulance fees, imaging tests, lab tests, surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, home medical equipment, home health care, and follow-up appointments with doctors and specialists.
- Lost wages – If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you can seek compensation for the lost income you experienced.
- Replacement services – These include the reasonable costs of services to perform tasks you are no longer able to perform because of your injuries. Examples include yard work, childcare, home maintenance, and house cleaning.
- Necessary modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability caused by injury.
- Property damage (to your vehicle and other property).
Non-economic damages are real losses that have no measurable value. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium (the loss of love, companionship, and comfort). There are general guidelines for determining the value of non-economic damages, but they are subjective and the amount you recover depends on the strength of the case.
A big factor in determining the amount of your settlement is the amount of insurance coverage the negligent party has. Other factors include the type and severity of your injuries, the outlook for your recovery and your future, the strength of the case, and the willingness of the insurance company to reach a settlement. Many times, the insurance company wants to avoid court. But if there is a lot of money at stake, they may be less willing to negotiate.
How long does it take to reach a settlement for a car accident?
There is no hard and fast rule. Both parties could agree on a settlement at any time during the legal process, from before a lawsuit is filed up until a verdict is reached at trial. Negotiations may begin early in the process. Sometimes, a settlement can be reached at that time. But it’s not uncommon for negotiations to break down and be taken up again later on.
An insurance company may wait until the discovery process before agreeing to negotiate a settlement. This is the process in which evidence is exchanged by both sides. Each side gets to see what witnesses have said during depositions and what types of evidence will be presented during trial.
An attorney with the hustle that gets results
That’s why it’s important to be represented by an experienced car accident lawyer if you’ve been hurt in an accident. Attorney Leigh is very familiar with how insurance companies approach these cases and the tactics they use to try to limit financial compensation. He used to represent them. And he puts in the hard work needed to win.
Our firm investigates your accident to get the facts. This includes gathering evidence, including any video of the crash. Attorney Leigh carefully reviews accident reports, medical records, and other documentation. He identifies and interviews witnesses about what they saw. If needed, he consults accident reconstruction experts and other specialists.
He also determines the total amount of damages you suffered. Attorney Leigh will deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf and will work toward reaching a settlement that meets your needs. But he is not interested in making quick deals that help the insurance company save money. Any settlement needs to work for you.
Schedule your free consultation with a car accident attorney
If you were injured in a car accident in Northern New Jersey, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at our Millburn office. Or attorney Leigh can meet you at a location that is more convenient for you. He can review the details of your accident, review your legal option, and give you an idea of what to expect as your case moves forward.