How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement | Pennsylvania
In 2021, approximately 323 reportable car accidents occurred every day, or about 13 per hour, in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s recent figures.
Pennsylvania law generally considers accidents resulting in personal injury, death, or property damage reportable.
When these accidents strike, victims may be thrust into a new normal drastically different from their ordinary lives. Instead of going to work, many victims must instead undergo surgeries.
Instead of enjoying life, playing with their children, and taking vacations, victims may have to attend laborious physical therapy.
If you were in a car accident, you might wonder how much to expect from a car accident settlement in Pennsylvania.
In this article, Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers explains what you need to know about car accident settlements in Pennsylvania, including your filing deadlines and the types of compensation you might receive.
How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in Pennsylvania
With so many extraordinary headlines about victims receiving multimillion-dollar settlements, it can be confusing to know what to expect when entering negotiations with an insurance company or at-fault party.
It probably comes as no surprise that not every crash victim is eligible for millions of dollars in recovery. But in most cases, the first offer you receive from the insurance company is far below what you are truly entitled to under the law.
Insurance companies and at-fault parties prioritize their bottom line over the rights of victims. Because of this, despite what they may tell you, the first offer they send usually isn’t the best offer you can get.
The best practice is to talk to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about your case and ask their opinion about what you can expect to receive.
How to Calculate a Car Accident Settlement
Calculating a settlement offer is part art and part science. You should compute your total injury and accident-related expenses thus far, including the following:
- Cost of prescription medication,
- Physical therapy,
- Medical expenses,
- Property repairs,
- Transportation costs,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost earning capacity.
Ideally, the calculation should consider past expenses and those you reasonably expect to incur in the future.
You should also calculate the non-economic harms you have experienced because of the accident and injury.
Frequently, at-fault parties and insurance companies tend to undervalue the invisible losses experienced by accident victims, such as pain and suffering.
An attorney can help you quantify the impact of the accident and injuries on your life and incorporate this into a fair settlement offer.
What Factors Impact the Compensation You Receive in a Car Accident Case?
Calculating a car accident settlement typically involves taking into account the following factors:
- The impact of the accident on your quality of life,
- The medical expenses you incurred,
- Your lost wages and lost earning capacity,
- The compensation similarly situated victims have received in past cases,
- The law at issue in the case,
- The conduct of the at-fault party, and
- The percentage of fault that you may share in causing the accident.
Other factors include the strength of your case and the evidence you have to support your claim for damages.
During the discovery process of a personal injury lawsuit, you can request information about your expenses and documents to support your claim about what occurred. You can use this evidence to argue in favor of a higher settlement offer.
Having documentation to support your claim is beneficial in other ways as well. For example, it can be difficult for an insurance company or at-fault party to refute a settlement proposal backed by solid evidence and proof.
How Can You Maximize Your Settlement?
Ways to maximize your personal injury settlement after a car accident include the following:
- Taking swift action to avoid missing your important filing deadline,
- Keeping track of your injury-related expenses and appointments,
- Maintaining a pain journal to document the impact of the injury and accident on your life,
- Adequately preparing for the settlement negotiations,
- Collecting evidence to support your legal claim, and
- Preparing logical legal arguments to present to the judge or jury.
A personal injury attorney can help you complete the above steps and take other actions to help you sufficiently prepare your case. Keep in mind that even if you take the above steps, there is no guarantee you will receive a particular amount of compensation.
How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take?
How long do car accident settlements take? There is no set length of time for how long car accident settlements take.
Some may take a short period of time, whereas others may require months of negotiations before the parties reach an agreement. In other circumstances, the parties must take the case to trial to achieve a resolution rather than settle it outside of court.
What Is the Deadline to File a Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania?
Car accident victims typically have two years to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for personal injuries and property damage caused by an at-fault party.
Exceptions may apply that shorten or lengthen this deadline, but generally, if you do not file a claim before the expiration of the two-year clock expires, the law will prevent you from bringing this lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can help you understand how long you have to file a lawsuit, given your unique situation.
Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?
Is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident? Car accident attorneys perform vital services by helping you protect and assert your legal rights while you recover mentally and physically from the event.
Attorneys alleviate the stress often experienced by victims trying to navigate a legal claim while also juggling their day-to-day obligations, like work, attending medical appointments, and other essential matters.
Further, lawyers have special training to handle these types of claims on behalf of others. Many accident victims would have to devote precious hours and money to learn and apply the legal knowledge on their own.
Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers: Compassionate and Aggressive Representation for Pennsylvania’s Injury Victims
Our team understands that you are hurting and are looking for a way to move forward and pursue justice. Being injured by another is frustrating, and it can be difficult to know what steps to take next. Our team is here to help you navigate this nuanced process.
We have helped injury victims recover millions in compensation throughout our years in practice. Before practicing personal injury law, Gonen Haklay worked as a zealous and fierce prosecutor in the Homicide Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
He successfully tried over 100 homicide cases before juries and even more bench trials. Now he fights for the rights of individuals who were wronged by the conduct of another.