How much can I expect for a settlement for my daughter who was injured in a car accident?

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How much can I expect for a settlement for my daughter who was injured in a car accident?

Her car was totaled by an insured driver. Their insurance has paid off my daughter’s car, however it took them nearly 3 weeks to claim liability even with their insured being ticketed and witnesses. There are lost wages, emergency room medical bills ($3K) and follow up doctors visits, and just plain stress from not having vehicle for such a long time. They did supply her with a rental now that time has expired and she is withpout transportation and is having to be driven to work and back by various family members.

Asked on April 2, 2015 under Personal Injury, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that the other driver was at fault (e.g. driving negligently, or carelessly) in causing the accident, he or she is potentially liable (financially responsible) for:

1) cost to repair or total the car, which you indicate has alrady been paid;

2) lost wages due to the accident;

3) medical costs due to the accident;

4) if there is disability or significant life impairment lasting weeks, months, or longer, some amount for "pain and suffering," though this is very hard to quantify.

5) Cost of alternate transportion (such as a rental) for a reasonable time.

There is no compensation for stress, or for the time of family members driving her.

If the matter settles without trial, you usually get some portion or fraction--generally 1/3 to 2/3--of the above total; that's because the other side's incentive to settle without a trial is generally that they pay less. Often the "hardest" and easiest to substantiate costs, like medical, are paid in full and its the less easly quantified or more subject to judgment, like pain and suffering or sometime lost wages (e.g. could she have returned to work earlier? that's not always a cut-and-dried determination) are paid partially.

If the person has insurance, the insurer may pay, up to the policy limits, and the person would be personally resonsible for amounts over that.


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