What to Expect in Your Pedestrian Car Accident Settlement?
A pedestrian accident case is either an insurance claim or a lawsuit. The latter is not necessary and is usually the last option when the plaintiff does not agree with the amount the insurance company is ready to pay.
Anyway, whether you want to settle out of court or decide to get involved in litigation, the most important question is, “How much is my pedestrian accident case worth?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, which is why it is highly advised that you consult an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
Factors that determine the value of a pedestrian accident case
Usually, the first thing people do when they want to find out the value of their case, is to find an average settlement amount for this kind of cases. Of course, it might give you some idea, but it is not that helpful.
It is important to understand that each case is unique. There is no universal answer to how much a pedestrian accident case is worth. It is based on several factors.
First of all, the severity of the pedestrian’s injuries play a key role. Severe injuries will obviously be worth more. Another factor is the nature and the extent of received treatment. If you decided to try alternative medicine instead of traditional medicine, it has less weight.
There is a general formula to determine the worth of a pedestrian accident case. The value of the case includes medical costs (together with future medical costs), missed time at work, future earning capacity as well as pain, suffering and inconvenience.
Some factors such as medical costs and missed time at work are easy to figure out. You just have to present the evidence that supports your claim. It can be a hospital bill that proves you really spent that much money, or paystubs that establish how much pay you missed while recovering from your injury.
The most difficult factor to determine in this formula is pain and suffering. Unlike wages and hospital cost, these criteria are not easily presented in actual dollar sums. Sure, a victim’s pain and suffering are very much real, but how do you put a price tag on that? That is why you need a good pedestrian accident lawyer to prove to everyone that the amount you claim for pain and suffering is well grounded.
How to get actual numbers
When starting a pedestrian accident case, it is important to understand how an insurance adjuster will approach the settlement.
What most of them do to determine the worth of your pedestrian accident case is take all the quantifiable losses (medical bills, lost income etc) and multiply it by a number between one-and-a-half and five. The amount they receive is called “general damages”. It already includes pain and suffering costs. The multiplier depends on the severity of your injuries, nature of medical treatment, and the length of recovery.
Another approach often used by insurance adjusters is to use a daily rate when determining the settlement for your pain. In both cases, to get the final settlement figure, insurance companies add general damages to special damages.
Determining how much a pedestrian accident case is worth gives an opportunity for back-and-forth negotiations between the driver and the pedestrian. Usually they do not conduct the negotiations themselves. The insurers present argument in favor of the driver to reduce the settlement amount. And a pedestrian accident lawyer on the other side tries to give evidence to increase the amount the pedestrian gets.
A trustworthy pedestrian accident lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis. It means they get a certain percentage of the settlement amount only if they win the case.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017