Car accidents can be fatal, and even if they are not, they can cause significant bodily injuries and economic hardships. Hence, it makes sense for people to claim compensation either from the insurance company or from the driver who is at fault.
Accident settlement cases have provided millions of dollars in compensation if the injury is severe. However, it is essential to know if a particular case is worth claiming compensation for. Also, the rules for claiming compensation vary from one state to another. If someone is a resident of Michigan, they can go here to learn more about circumstances under which a person can claim compensation for a car accident.
Insurance companies give different weightage to factors, like the nature of the injury, damage to the vehicle, etc., to come to a compensation amount. Most people are unaware of such metrics and calculations. Hence, it is a good idea to consult a professional lawyer who has vast experience in such cases.
How Much Compensation To Claim After Meeting With An Accident
1. Damage To The Vehicle
The damage to the vehicle is the best indicator of the magnitude of the crash. If the vehicle has minor damages, like the paint from the side walls has been scratched, or if some glass is broken, people may not claim any insurance at all. However, if the damage is severe, that is, if the entire front part of the vehicle needs a restoration, then claiming compensation is worth it.
People must collect all the garage bills, be it for repairs or replacements of parts after a crash. Garage bills often have evidentiary value if there is a need to file a lawsuit.
2. The Nature Of Injuries
Insurance companies compensate based on a person’s bodily injury in a crash. The compensation will be less if the injuries are minor, like a sprain in the arm or a hairline fracture. However, if the injury causes prolonged hospitalization, multiple surgeries, and many referrals, then the damages paid out are large. In some cases, the amount paid out for traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage has been as much as seven million dollars.
However, some companies deduct the money spent on visiting physiotherapists or chiropractors to deduce the final claim value. Also, it is crucial to preserve MRI reports, X-ray reports, CT scans, etc., which can help verify the nature and extent of trauma suffered.
3. The Loss Of Employment
An accident victim suffers mentally and physically. He may not be able to work normally for several months or years after the accident has occurred. At times if there is a permanent disability, the person may never be able to earn to their full potential. Vehicle crashes thus have a considerable opportunity cost where a person’s future earning potential is also significantly hampered. Hence the loss of employment and stalling of career progression is worth reimbursement.
The loss of employment opportunities is proportional to the trauma suffered. Victims should collect evidence of employment loss, like termination letters, salary slips, etc., to prove the extent of their loss.
4. The Nature Of The Collision
In a state like Michigan, the type of collision also determines the extent of reimbursement that can be claimed. For this, the type of insurance cover and the extent of the victim’s fault in causing the collision matter.
For instance, if a person has standard collision liability cover and he is more than 50% responsible for the collision, then he gets no compensation. One instance of greater than 50% liability is when a vehicle collides with a stationary object like a tree.
However, if a person has a standard collision cover and he is not at fault for causing the collision, he can claim reimbursement.
5. The Type Of Vehicle That Caused The Damage
In some states, the kind of vehicle involved in the accident is a key determinant in deciding the amount of compensation. The liability for commercial vehicles is much more than for personal vehicles. Also, trucks and other large vehicles are liable to shell out more money in terms of damages.
Most states have different rules for trucks because trucks can cause immense damage in case of a collision. Commercial vehicles are also required to shell out huge amounts because they are driven at high speeds without much consideration for traffic rules.
6. Prior Injuries And Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Prior injuries and medical conditions matter when deciding the compensation amount in a car crash. For instance, if a person who already suffers from osteoarthritis (degeneration of bones) gets his bones broken, then the accident-causing driver may not be entirely responsible. Again, for a diabetic person, the injuries may take more time to heal than a person who does not have diabetes.
7. Violation Of Traffic Rules
If the person who is claiming compensation is himself at fault, then he has a weak case. For instance, if the victim was drunk while driving or the car was in the wrong lane, then even the victim is equally at fault. In such cases, a claim should be filed only after discussing the pros and cons with the lawyer.
8. When Exactly Is the Claim Filed
In a state like Michigan, the law states that the claim for compensation should be filed within two years from the date of the accident. However, if the two-year period is somehow breached, exceptions can be claimed by citing special circumstances. An experienced lawyer can easily help his clients get such exemptions from the legal authorities.
In Michigan, it is mandatory to get a no-fault insurance liability to drive a car. Hence getting a claim reimbursed from one’s own insurance company should not be complicated. However, matters can get complicated if the claim is against another driver or if there is a pre-existing health condition. Hence, it is advisable to consult a professional who can help file papers, collect evidence and even represent his clients in a court of law.