Car Accident Victim Compensation: How Does It Work?

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Most civil claims settle out of court. In fact, fewer than 5 percent of car wreck cases go to trial nowadays. These resolutions are usually good for victims/plaintiffs. Out-of-court settlements end cases earlier and give the victim more control over the outcome. However, as outlined below, most car wreck claims do not settle quickly.

A Lancaster car accident lawyer starts the settlement process by preparing as if the case will go to trial. This means collecting evidence which supports your claim and using the proper legal theory to glue this evidence together. The end result of this sometimes-long process is usually fair compensation for your serious injuries.

Determining the Settlement Value

Compensation in a vehicle wreck claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Economic losses may seem straightforward. But that’s not always the case. For example, assume Jim’s medical bills are $20,000. Jim’s attorney negotiates with his doctor and reduces the bill to $18,000. Because of South Carolina’s collateral source rule, Jim is probably entitled to $20,000 for his medical expenses.

The calculation must also factor both current and future medical expenses. If an attorney settles a claim too early, the victim might be financially responsible for any future medical bills.

Obtaining Fair Compensation

If the case is relatively simple, the insurance company might have a legal duty to settle the claim within a few weeks.

But most car wreck cases are rather complex. One of several legal doctrines could cloud the liability issue. Therefore, most car crash claims settle during mediation, which occurs later in the process.

A third-party mediator meets with both sides, listens to brief opening arguments, then transmits settlement offers back and forth between them. If both sides negotiate in good faith, which is their legal duty, mediation is normally successful.

Car accident victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Lancaster, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


How does a lawyer win a car wreck case?

Evidence, such as medical bills and witness statements, is usually critical in a car wreck claim.

Is the at-fault driver financially responsible for damages?

Not usually. The driver’s insurance company or a third party, such as the driver’s employer, usually pays.

What’s the point of damages in a car crash case? Wasn’t the wreck an accident?

The crash might have been a mistake, but we must all accept responsibility for our mistakes.

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