Following an injury-causing car accident, you may need to file for compensation depending on the severity of your condition. However, this legal process isn’t always as straightforward as you’d hope, and simply determining the amount you’re owed can turn into a major headache. As such, you must know the basic steps to this process if you’re going to get the settlement you need to recover. Here is how to calculate your damages after a car crash and prepare to make your claim.
Familiarize Yourself With State Law
As you begin the process, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the specific laws of your state. Each state has separate rules and regulations in place for determining who’s at fault in a car accident and how to reach a settlement. These guidelines also influence how damages are calculated and, in some areas, put limits on the amount you can request in your claim. So, having an understanding of these laws beforehand will ensure you’re off to a good start.
Acquire the Necessary Documents
After this, gather all the documentation surrounding your incident. This includes your medical records, the police report for your crash, and the other driver’s insurance information. These materials, especially your medical bills, will show just how much you spent during recovery, and, therefore, the amount you can request in return. Having your car inspected by a mechanic, and getting the cost of repairs in writing, will also be a key component in your calculations.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The next essential step to calculating your damages after a car crash is to get in touch with a qualified personal injury attorney. Professional car crash lawyers have years of experience drawing up all the necessary legal documents to justify a settlement claim. Because of this, having an attorney on your side will ensure that you’re not only asking for the right things but for exactly what you need as well. Your lawyer might even point out damages that you didn’t even consider—like pain and suffering or lost wages from your job.
Consider Your Liability in the Crash
It’s important to note that your own degree of involvement in the incident can affect your damages as well. Depending on your liability, the court has the right to reduce or deny the settlement amount you’re requesting. As such, you aren’t always guaranteed the full payout if you have some ownership in the crash. This is just something to consider as you move forward with the paperwork.