If you recently got involved in an accident, you may notice that friends and co-workers will start telling you about someone else they know who got in an accident and how much compensation they got. As tempting as it might be to compare your case with a friend’s or acquaintance’s past case, you can’t do it. Your case is completely unique, and you shouldn’t base your settlement expectations on another case even if it sounds very similar. There are dozens of things that can affect how much money you are compensated in your personal injury case, and all of these factors work together to determine the final value.
The Specific Situation of Your Accident
No two accidents are the same. No two car accidents are completely the same, and this also applies to slip and fall accidents. Many different details will affect how the insurance company views your claim and also how your suit would be viewed in court by a jury. Some things that may affect your case include:
• The speed of the cars
• The location of the impact (intersection/school zone/etc.)
• The damage to the cars
• Even the type of cars involved
The specific details of the case may determine if you contributed at all to the accident. If you did, you will most likely get less compensation. If you were engaging in any type of risky behavior, such as talking on your phone or texting, that could also hurt your personal injury case.
The Age and Health of Both Parties
Just because two car accidents occurred in similar ways or the injuries were similar, that doesn’t mean that the compensation will be the same. Insurance companies and juries will also take into account the age and health of the injured parties. If you are older and are having more trouble recovering from your injury, that could affect the settlement. At the same time, if you have had previous injuries in that area, you will only be able to get compensation equal to how much the injury was worsened by the accident.
Your Behavior after the Accident
How you act after the accident has a very large effect on your case. If you wait a long time before seeking treatment, a jury may believe that your injuries were not as serious as you claimed. This may also happen if you miss doctors’ appointments or have long breaks between your treatments. If you are claiming serious injuries, but then participated in athletic activities or were seen being more active than you implied, this could also hurt your claim.
Talk to Your Attorney
Ultimately, it can be very difficult to predict the exact value of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can give you a good idea, but you won’t know until you begin negotiating with the insurance company. When trying to figure out how much compensation you may be entitled to, ask your attorney for help instead of comparing the case to others in Maryland. If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact us today. We’re here to help.