Nine Factors that Determine How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in Kansas City
Ryan Bradley | March 2, 2022 | Car Accident
Missouri uses a fault-based car insurance system. This means you must pursue the at-fault driver for compensation after a car accident.
When you file your insurance claim against the at-fault driver, you need to prove your losses. You also need to prove the other driver’s negligence.
These, among other factors, will determine whether the insurer pays your claim and the amount of the payment. Here are nine factors that will determine how much to expect from a car accident settlement in Kansas City.
Adjusting a Kansas City Car Accident Insurance Claim
After you and your injury lawyer file your claim, the insurer will assign an adjuster to your case. To ensure you get a fair settlement, your lawyer will evaluate your case and, along with you, determine when you get an adequate offer.
Some of the factors that influence the value of your case are listed below.
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
The economic damages in your case will depend on how much your injuries cost you. More severe injuries will require more medical treatment, therapy, and medication. These additional expenses translate into a bigger settlement.
2. Duration of Your Injuries
Your damages include both your past and future expenses. While a broken bone is a serious injury, it heals in about eight weeks.
But if you suffer a permanent injury or disfigurement, you might face a lifetime of medical expenses and lost income. These ongoing expenses will increase the value of your case.
3. Effect on Your Ability to Work
Economic damages also include your lost income. If you had to miss work due to your injuries, you can include the income you lost in your damages.
If your injuries force you to change jobs or retire, you will have future lost income. Your lost earning capacity counts toward your economic damages.
4. How Your Injuries Affect Your Life
In addition to your economic damages, you can also claim non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include all the ways your injuries diminished your quality of life. Some symptoms that help to support a claim for non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Inability to perform tasks
Bear in mind these symptoms do not need to affect your finances to justify compensation. The mere fact that you experienced them can be enough.
5. Mental and Emotional Injuries
Mental and emotional injuries are injuries. If you suffered from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any other diagnosed mental or emotional issues, you can include their effects when calculating damages.
6. Insurance Limits
Missouri requires all car owners to buy bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. In Missouri, the minimum allowed policy is $25,000 per person and up to $50,000 per accident.
If you get injured in an accident by a driver with minimum coverage, the insurer caps your settlement at $25,000. If your damages exceed $25,000, you can sue additional responsible parties like the manufacturer of a defective tire, or go after the at-fault driver’s personal assets.
7. Number of Drivers
If more than one driver caused the accident, you can go after multiple insurance policies. Although the policy limits will still cap each driver’s damages, you can pursue each policy up to the maximum limit.
For example, in a three-car accident where the other two drivers were at fault, you could collect $25,000 from each driver for a total of $50,000.
8. Evidence of Liability
You need to prove the other driver was negligent to recover compensation. Stronger evidence will help you get a better settlement. For instance, an insurance company might readily settle a DUI accident but may fight you in a case where weather played a role.
9. Your Share of the Fault
Missouri uses pure comparative fault to allocate damages. If you bear some liability for your injuries, your damages get reduced proportionally. In other words, if you bear 25% of the fault for your accident, you can only get 75% of your damages.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
St. Louis Office
1424 Washington Ave Suite #300 St. Louis, MO 63103
Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.