Crash victims are often eager to know if the financial compensation will be worth the time and effort required to file an accident lawsuit. The answer is different for every injury client, but there are ways to estimate the amount of damages that a victim could receive by taking legal action against an at-fault driver.
Factors That Affect Damages in a Car Accident Case
In Rhode Island, car accident compensation follows a fault-based system. Instead of each driver filing a claim with his own insurer, the person who is legally at fault for the accident is liable for paying injury costs. It is the at-fault driver’s insurance company who must pay for damages, but the provider may be unwilling to pay for the full extent of your suffering. In this case, you may need to file a lawsuit to get what you are owed.
The amount you could receive in your injury case will depend on:
The direct costs of the crash.
The first step in estimating your case’s value is the amount of economic losses you have suffered. Economic damages compensate a victim for the direct financial costs of the accident, including hospital stays, emergency care, physical therapy, medications, follow-up care, and property damage to a vehicle. In addition to recouping the full amount of medical expenses, victims are owed full payment for the wages they lost while they were injured. If victims are no longer able to continue working at their current job, they may be owed an amount for their reduced earning capacity.
How much you have suffered due to the car accident.
Pain and suffering damages are awarded by a jury and are not subject to the same limits as economic damages. If the accident caused you prolonged trauma, lost quality of life, or permanent limitations or disfigurement, you may be entitled to this additional compensation.
Your percentage of fault for the car accident.
Rhode Island negligence laws allow a car accident victim to file a lawsuit even if the other driver was just one percent at fault. However, the damages the victim receives will be reduced in proportion to his percentage of negligence.
Whether the case goes to trial.
Your attorney may be able to secure a fair payment for your injuries by negotiating with the insurance company. However, if you and the insurer cannot agree on a settlement amount, you can take the case to court and fight for a verdict at trial. While going to trial often yields higher payment for victims, it is a long and expensive process—and there is always the chance that you will lose.