Car accident cases are among the most common personal injury settlements due to the increasing number of vehicles on the road. Most people have been in some type of car accident, whether it be a serious incident or a fender-bender. In circumstances where there is severe damage or injury, the injured party deserves compensation.
Have you or a loved one suffered a serious car accident that resulted in catastrophic injury or damage? Do you know how to go about seeking compensation and determining what you deserve?
Continue reading to find out more about the process of settlements for severe crashes and the average payout for head-on collisions.
What is a Head-On Collision?
A head-on crash, otherwise known as a frontal collision, is when two or more vehicles collide front to front and often drive in opposite directions. This type of collision is the least likely to occur but has the highest fatality percentage among car accident types, making it a dangerous situation for victims.
Statistically, this type of crash happens more often in rural than urban areas due to the prevalence of two-lane roads and the lack of dividing medians. The most common causes are avoidable driver errors such as fatigue, distraction, or drunkenness that vehicle operators neglected before entering their car.
Unfortunately, injuries and damage sustained in a head-on collision tend to be the most severe and sometimes even fatal. The speed of the vehicles involved is the primary factor that impacts the case severity more than anything else.
Other variables that may affect injuries include whether the passengers were wearing safety restraints and if the vehicle’s safety features, such as airbags, were in proper working order.
Common injuries in a head-on collision include:
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Bones
- Neck Injuries or Whiplash
- Internal Organ Damage
Factors that Affect Settlement Amount
Before seeking compensation, it is vital to understand the measurable facts that determine if you have a personal injury case, inform you of how much compensation you deserve in your unique situation, and affect your overall settlement outcome.
Determining the “at fault” party is the most crucial factor in determining the amount of compensation you’re entitled. You must be able to prove negligence or violation of “duty of care” to seek damage compensation and for your case to settle.
“Duty of care” is the legal obligation of drivers to follow the law and act safely on the road. If they were distracted, tired, driving recklessly, or not following traffic laws, the driver is negligent.
If you are determined to be “at fault” for some portion of the accident, you may still deserve some compensation. In this case, negotiations may reduce your payout amount according to the percentage you are at fault for.
It is important to note that each state has individual laws about establishing fault and bringing a personal injury case. Our attorneys at Strickland and Kendall can assist you in your options in all 50 states.
The severity of the property damage and injuries incurred in the accident affect your case as well. It is common knowledge that severe injuries requiring significant medical treatment lend to more significant payment amounts.
These cases typically include hospital stays and surgeries, and in cases where treatment and medical bills will continue to increase in the future, the amount increases too. Physical therapy and follow-up surgeries are often involved in these tragic situations.
Insurance adjustors often dismiss cases with less significant injuries such as non-life-threatening scrapes, strains, and bruises. If there was apparent negligence and the accident does settle with a nuisance value, the payment is typically a low amount.
The amount of insurance coverage the “at-fault” party carries significantly impacts the settlement amount. For instance, in car accidents involving personal vehicles, settlements are typically lower. In these legal situations, drivers may only have the standard auto insurance policy of $25,000- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage.
In accidents with commercial vehicles such as truck accidents, the potential for a higher payout increases. Often, several layers of insurance protection cover drivers and the companies where they work.
How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?
To settle a head-on collision, the insurance company will hire an adjuster, and they will calculate the elements of your case to determine a settlement offer. There are two categories of head-on crash damages they will assess: special and general.
Once the adjuster calculates all the outstanding monetary amounts, they will assign a multiplier between 1 and 5 to your case; the accident severity determines this number. They will then multiply this number by the monetary amount to decide your initial settlement offer.
Economic damages, or special damages, are those that are easy to calculate with a dollar amount. These may include medical bills, property damage estimates, hospital stays, and home care costs, which are the heavy financial burdens you suffer from from the accident.
Non-economic, or general damages, are those that are not easily quantifiable. These include the pain and suffering you have endured due to the incident. This type of damage will be numerated and accounted for in your settlement by the multiplier. To prove significant pain and suffering, you need to supply records of doctor visits, mental health visits, medications, and witness testimonies. Gathering other forms of documentation showing the accident’s effect on your life will also bolster your case.
Seeking an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
It is impossible to give an exact head-on collision settlement quote without first assessing the unique factors of your injury claim. Hiring an experienced law firm is the first step in determining your settlement amount. This attorney should be upfront about expectations and will have a method for determining the success of your case.
Our attorneys at Strickland and Kendall have over 25 years of experience, and we specialize in significant auto accident claims. If you are ready to seek compensation for a head-on crash settlement, do not wait. Call our office at 334-269-3230 for a free consultation to begin assessing the facts of your case so we can acquire the compensation you deserve.