How Much Is My Case Worth If I Was Hit By A High Driver?
CALL (512) 246 2224 TO SPEAK WITH CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS FOR FREE
Unfortunately, as marijuana has become more common and legalized in certain states, more people have begun to operate vehicles while high. Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time; in short, driving while high greatly increases the chances that the driver will be involved in an accident. If you have been in an accident with a driver who was under the influence of an illicit drug like marijuana, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options and move forward in an efficient and sensible way.
If you have been in an accident with a high driver and are looking to find out more about what your case may be worth, call us at 512 246-2224 for a free case evaluation with an attorney. If we don’t reach a favorable result in your case, you won’t owe us anything.
How to Calculate the Value of Your Settlement
If you have been in an accident, one of your first questions after the dust settles is likely, “How much is my case worth?” Unfortunately, there is no way to reliably tell how much, if anything, you stand to win at the outset of your case. Each case is different and is dependent upon many different factors. However, the attorneys at the Zinda Law Group may be able to advise you on the validity of your claim and help you to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Factors Affecting Car Crash Settlements
As mentioned, there are many factors that impact the compensation that you are able to seek.
1. Severity of Injuries
The severity of injuries greatly impact car crash settlements. If you were in an accident but did not sustain many injuries, then your settlement may be relatively small. If, on the other hand, you suffered extensive injuries requiring lots of medical attention and treatment, then your settlement may be much larger.
2. Type of Treatment
The type of treatment that your injuries require to heal may impact your settlement. Certain injuries, like minor scrapes and bruises, can be treated with relatively minor care. However, more severe injuries, like head or spinal cord injuries, may require surgeries, physical therapy, and/or constant supervision by a medical professional.
3. Time Off Work
If your injuries prevented you from going to work and earning wages, then you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages.
4. Expenses Incurred
You may seek compensation for any expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident. This includes things like repair bills to restore your car to working order, transportation costs to medical appointments, and costs to replace or fix other property that may have been damaged in the accident.
5. Pain and Suffering
This category is more difficult to quantify than, say, medical bills, but you may be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. For instance, if your injuries are very painful or cause you to give up hobbies or quality time with your friends and family, then damages for pain and suffering may factor into your settlement.
Who Caused the Accident?
The amount of money that you walk away with, however, is not entirely dependent upon the severity of your injuries. This amount will also be affected by the percentage fault assigned to each party in the accident. Different states follow different rules when it comes to the issue of comparative fault, which means it is important to discuss with an experienced attorney in your jurisdiction to understand the implications of the rule where you live. Generally, states fall into one of three categories.
Pure Contributory Negligence
This is the harshest rule, and it is only followed by four states and the District of Columbia. In pure contributory negligence regimes, an injured party cannot seek compensatory damages if they are assigned any fault. In other words, if you are assigned just 1% of the overall fault and the other party is assigned the other 99%, you will still not be able to recover from them.
Modified Comparative Fault: This is the rule that is followed by the majority of the states in the US. Under the modified comparative fault rule, a damaged party may not seek compensation if the percentage of fault assigned to them is at least 50% or 51%, depending on the state. This means that an injured party could seek compensation if their fault was 40%, but not 75%.
Pure Comparative Fault: Pure comparative fault is the law of the land for thirteen states. With pure comparative fault, a damaged party may seek compensation even if it is 99% at fault, although, the final settlement may be reduced by their degree of fault.
Put simply, a victim in any personal injury case has to show that the person that they are suing acted negligently, and that that negligence caused their injuries. If a driver is driving on the road while under the influence of any sort of drug that impairs their ability to driver, then they are acting negligently. However, you still must be able to prove the connection between this negligence and your injuries.
Another important point to consider is the fact that multiple people may be acting negligently at the same time. For example, the driver involved in your accident may have been high, but if you rolled a stop sign, then you also violated a rule of the road and may share in the negligence. The arguments concerning the assignment of fault get very complex and require the guidance of an experienced attorney to navigate.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
When many people think of lawyers, they think of high hourly fees. For this reason, some may be tempted to try to settle their case on their own. However, unless you have significant experience in the area of personal injury law, this is typically not a great idea. An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in all aspects of the process, including:
1. Assessing Your Claim
While it may be disappointing to hear, certain claims are simply not worth pursuing. Avoiding these sorts of claims at the outset will save you lots of time and the headache that may come with seeking damages from a claim that is destined to fail. While it is impossible to predict the outcome of a case at the very beginning, an experienced attorney may advise you and give you an idea of what to expect and recommend whether or not to even file a claim.
2. Communications with Insurance Companies
While insurance companies often portray themselves as friendly organizations that only have your best interests in mind, it is important to remember that insurance companies are still businesses. As such, their main goal is to take in as much money as possible and pay out as little money as possible. To this end, they hire experienced claims adjusters who may engage you in conversations in an attempt to get you to say something damaging to your claim. Your attorney may be able to help you navigate these communications in a way that preserves any claim that you may have.
3. Experience with the Law
Though no two cases are the exact same, some common themes do pop up from case to case. Your attorney may be able to draw on their training, as well as their past experience, in order to help you seek the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to by accentuating the strengths of your case while minimizing the flaws that it may have.
How to Seek Compensation with a Lawyer
In order to best go about seeking compensation for your injuries, it is important to follow a few key steps. These include:
1. Contact an Attorney
This the first, and perhaps most important step. An experienced attorney may be able to help you in the ways mentioned above and generally advocate for your interests in the matter.
2. Gather Information
Once you have hired an attorney, they may begin to gather the information they need to build a case. This includes things like police reports, medical records, and any video footage or photo evidence that may be available.
Once your attorney has all of the information that they need, they may begin to negotiate with the other parties involved. An experienced attorney may know what similar cases have settled for, as well as the most effective ways to structure an argument for compensation.
Legal Time Limits
Every car accident claim must be brought within a certain window of time, which is known as the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations starts at the date of the accident or discovery of the injury and varies from state to state. For example, if the statute of limitations for car accidents is three years where you live, then you have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim. If the claim is filed outside of this three-year window, then it will likely be thrown out. Generally speaking, it is advisable to contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible to make sure that you do not run into problems with the statute of limitations and have what may be a winning case thrown out.
OUR CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN HELP
Unfortunately, accidents occur every day due to impaired drivers’ negligence. Thankfully, Zinda Law Group is here to help. Our experienced attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and take the proper steps to seek the best possible outcome for your case.
If you were the victim of a high driver, call Zinda Law Group today at (888) 659-9392 for a free consultation with a car accident attorney. You will pay nothing unless we reach a favorable result in your case.