I Was Hit by a Car. How Much Money Will I Get?
Getting the compensation you deserve takes the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Nonetheless, there are commonly accepted standards that most insurance companies and courts use when determining dollar amounts.
There’s the basic information that may help you to gain a better understanding of this important topic. Use these facts as your guide when considering your next move.
The “rule of three” explained in five parts
Traditionally, personal injury attorneys use what’s commonly known as the “rule of three” when determining how much compensation to demand on behalf of their clients. Here’s how it works:
- The law firm first determines how much your accident has cost you in terms of dollars and cents: For example, let’s say that your lost wages total $2,000 and your accident-related medical care costs $10,000. This makes for a total of $12,000.
- The firm then multiplies this amount times three: In this instance, $12,000 × 3=$36,000.
- The attorney sends out a demand letter specifying this amount: A demand letter is a formal communication from your law firm, either to the at-fault party, the insurance agency, or both. It includes the amount of compensation expected and the reasons why your attorney believes this figure is reasonable.
- The other side responds to the demand letter: Sometimes it agrees to the specified amount right away. Other times, it counters with a figure of its own. Occasionally, insurance companies or at-fault parties try to drag the matter out, in an attempt to intimidate the injured party.
- Further discussion leads to a resolution of the case: Sometimes this phase of the process can take weeks or even longer. In the end, though, the victim typically receives a fair amount of compensation, enabling him or her to pay for medical care, meet living expenses, and enjoy a reasonable quality of life.
The rule of three is a rule of thumb only, not a hard and fast formula for determining the amount of compensation you can expect. You might receive more or less, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident.
Let’s say that your accident caused you a great deal of emotional and personal turmoil. For example, it may have forced you to switch careers or deprive you of the ability to enjoy a favorite hobby or other pastimes.
In such a case, your attorney may demand substantially more from the other side. As with the rule of threes, however, the final figure will depend on well-established guidelines. Your attorney will work with you in arriving at a set figure.
Why going the DIY route rarely pays off
In a perfect world, determining how much compensation to expect from an accident would be a simple, straightforward process. However, as we all know, the world is far from perfect. Often, the other side displays greed, selfishness, or outright disregard for the well-being of accident victims.
For this reason, we urge you to get in touch with a qualified Southern California personal injury attorney today. Determining matters of compensation is far more complicated than the basic information we have been able to provide in this post. Getting every penny you deserve takes the help of a capable law firm.
This leads to the topic of choosing the best attorney to handle your case. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. But here are some guidelines to keep in mind during your search:
- Remember that personal injury law is a complex and highly specialized field: A jack-of-all-trades attorney is unlikely to provide you with effective representation.
- Be stingy when it comes to your budget: Put another way, you should never, ever pay out-of-pocket for a consultation or other legal services.
- Look for a firm that offers 24/7 availability to potential clients: This is a good way to separate client-centered firms from run-of-the-mill law offices.
- Remember that the other side has top-of-the-line legal representation working to promote its interests: You need someone in your corner who is every bit as skilled and devoted as their people.
Once you consider the above factors, we’re confident that you will choose a car accident attorney from Ellis Injury Law to represent you. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.