An auto accident is an event that could affect a person’s life long after the accident occurred. A victim of an auto accident can seek compensation from the person that caused the accident through an insurance claim. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, a settlement from an insurance company may not be sufficient to handle expenses incurred by a victim. If you or a family member sustained a severe injury in an auto accident, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Rice, Murtha & Psoras is committed to fighting for victims of auto accidents that were severely injured due to the negligent actions of another motorist. Personal injury attorney Randolph Rice is here to explain how often auto accident settlements exceed the policy limits.
Policy Limits for Auto Accident Settlements
If you were injured in a car accident, you have a few options to seek compensation for your injury. A victim of an accident can seek compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
When a victim elects to pursue damages from an insurance claim, there are a number of factors that can affect the amount of the settlement. The policy limits of the negligent driver’s insurance will often determine how much money a victim will receive for their injuries and other losses. For example, if a policyholder only has the bare minimum of vehicle insurance coverage, this will affect the compensation the victim may receive for sustaining a broken bone in a car accident.
Note, however, that it is possible for an auto accident settlement to exceed the policy limits of the negligent driver’s insurance coverage. It is important to remember that an insurance company typically wants to avoid paying out a large amount of money to an insurance company. This means that the insurance claim adjuster assigned to the case may look for ways to diminish the victim’s claim. Ultimately, an auto accident settlement may only exceed policy limits if the insurance company does not fight back against that possibility.
While it is possible to exceed the policy limits for a settlement, a victim may benefit by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit instead. A personal injury lawsuit will not unnecessarily limit the amount of money that a plaintiff can receive for injuries and other losses.
To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Damages Available for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit may be a more beneficial option for a victim that was injured in a car accident. The injuries sustained in a car wreck could leave a victim with long-term injuries that may require extensive care. As a result, a victim may incur a large amount of medical bills along with many other expenses.
Fortunately, a victim can pursue damages for their injuries. To receive damages in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff typically must show how a defendant acted negligently. Various types of evidence can help you prove negligence. For example, if you have evidence that a driver was operating their vehicle while drunk, this would be valuable in proving negligence. Additionally, a plaintiff must also prove the following elements to show negligence:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff (e.g., running a red light)
- The plaintiff suffered an injury or other losses due to the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff sustained an injury or other losses that are compensable by a court of law
Once these elements are proven, a defendant can be awarded compensatory damages for their injuries and losses. Compensatory damages are awarded for economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are calculated by objective factors like the costs incurred due to an accident. Noneconomic losses are determined by a variety of subjective factors, like the amount of emotional distress suffered by a victim.
The following is a list of compensatory damages available for an auto accident lawsuit:
- Loss of wages and future loss of wages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Medical bills for treatment, medication, medical equipment, and other related costs
- Damage to a vehicle and other property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment for favorite activities
A plaintiff may also be awarded punitive damages for their injuries. Punitive damages are awarded when a person commits a particularly egregious act. However, it would be best if you did not assume that you are eligible to receive punitive damages for your injuries.
If you are concerned about pursuing compensation for your auto accident case, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Experienced Maryland Auto Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Claim
If you or a family member suffered an injury in a car accident and are concerned about an insurance settlement, consult with an experienced car accident attorney immediately. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras , we believe that a negligent driver should be held accountable for causing an accident that may affect many aspects of a victim’s life. You do not have to fight your case alone. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options after a car accident, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact the firm by using our online submission form.