Everyone defines “minor” differently, and there is no legal definition for what constitutes a minor collision. In addition, insurance companies value each accident claim based on the facts of the case, and no two collisions are the same. That makes it impossible to calculate an average settlement for minor car accidents.
An attorney from our team can help you determine how much your minor accident claim might be worth. They can gather information about your accident, document your damages, and value your case as a part of navigating the claims process for you.
Factors that Determine the Value of a Car Accident Settlement
Several factors affect the value of a car accident claim. Each of these can differ in every crash, but may include:
- The injuries suffered
- The treatment required
- Additional medical expenses
- Lost income and time away from work
- If injuries are long-term or cause permanent disabilities
- The damage to the vehicle
- The role each driver played in causing the crash
- The facts of the accident
Your recoverable damages in this type of case could include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and reduced capacity to earn
- Property damages (including to your vehicle)
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
How do You Value a Crash Claim?
Before reaching a fair settlement agreement in your car accident case, you need to know what a reasonable offer would look like. You would need to calculate the value of your expenses and losses, put a price on your noneconomic damages, and demand a payout in sync with the total.
However, this process is not as straightforward as it may seem. You need to know about any necessary future care and how to value your intangible losses, such as pain and suffering. This is where working with acar accident attorney can be especially helpful. They will value your claim and seek a commensurate settlement.
Defining “Minor” Is Not Clear-Cut or Easy
Whether an accident is “serious” or “minor” can also affect a claim’s value. Many people consider accidents “minor” if they involve only some damage to the vehicle and relatively inconsequential injuries to those involved. However, “minor” is not a legal term when it comes to collisions. For example, it does not necessarily refer to accidents with less than $5,000 in property damage or injuries that did not require hospitalization.
Any accident can cause significant damage to your vehicle and leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Depending on their symptoms, some people could have substantial medical bills despite only suffering contusions and abrasions. Someone complaining of neck pain, for example, may need:
- Ambulance transportation to the nearest emergency department
- Medical evaluation
- Diagnostic x-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies
All this medical treatment could rack up major bills with only soft tissue injuries to blame.
In Some Cases, Accidents May Only Seem Minor at First
Many collisions that appear to be relatively minor initially are anything but once the victims tally all their costs and losses. Injuries that are not apparent at the scene become symptomatic later. The damage to their vehicle is worse than they first thought. Their time away from work dealing with these issues adds up quickly.
Any of these factors can quickly transform a “minor” crash into a more serious accident and more expensive claim. Thus, there may be no way to know in the first minutes and hours after a collision whether a collision would classify as minor.
Working with a Car Accident Attorney for a Minor Crash Claim
Even if you believe your accident is relatively minor, you may want to speak with an attorney who handles car accident claims regularly before you attempt to settle your case. They will ensure you understand your rights, legal options, and the potential value of your claim. You do not want to settle for less than you deserve for the financial, physical, and emotional harm you suffered.
Most minor car accident claims settle out of court. However, occasionally a victim will need to sue to show the at-fault driver and insurer they are serious about financial recovery. When this occurs, they must meet the deadlines set by their state. These vary but generally run:
- Two years in Alabama: Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Three years in Arkansas: Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- One year in Louisiana: La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Three years in Mississippi: Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Morris Bart, LLC Fights to Protect the Rights of Gulf South Accident Victims
The Morris Bart law office near you will review your case with you for free today. We will explain your rights and options for pursuing damages based on what happened and the harm you suffered. Our team operates in 15 locations and serves four states: Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
You can reach us now by calling (800) 537-8185 to get started.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.