Be skeptical about generic settlement estimates

Friday February 1, 2019

Connecticut drivers who get involved in accidents often turn to legal action to get compensated. Between serious injuries and large amounts of property damage, there imay be a significant amount of money involved in any given auto accident dispute.

But you should ask for a breakdown of any proposed settlement. What sounds like a lot of money may not go as far as you think or may not cover all your losses.

Ask questions about a proposed settlement

It’s natural to ask “how much is my case worth?” or “how much will I get?” It is virtually impossible to give a relevant estimate of settlement amounts without looking at the details of the case. This is because the severity of the injuries, the reasonable income of the injured parties and even the fault of each driver could modify a number. Therefore, concerned parties should view any type of nonspecific estimate skeptically. It is almost always more informative to build expectations from concrete evidence.

Furthermore, even if an estimate were to turn out to be an accurate representation of the amount of a settlement, that may not be the only concern. Many people do not have a complete understanding of the purpose of the funds: Settlements must cover attorney fees and costs of litigation, for example. Your insurance carrier or health care providers may have reimbursement claims against your settlement.

What is the insurance coverage?

However, one may form some expectations from the amount of liability insurance the state requires drivers to carry. According to FindLaw.com, the minimum amount of coverage for Connecticut drivers is $20,000 for injuries to any one victim and $40,000 total per accident. Compensation can be limited by the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault driver has, even if your case is worth much more. It is also important to remember that judges do not determine the details of settlements; it is up to the parties involved to decide on the exact amount.

It could also be helpful to consider the time it could take to pursue a case involving an auto collision. Here is a general timeline for the auto injury legal process. Cases that go to trial may take a year or several years to complete.

There is no cap on personal injury settlements in Connecticut. Since they are mutually agreed-upon contracts, they should by definition result in a responsible person or entity paying an amount that significantly reduces the injured parties’ financial burdens. As for the exact sum that could represent such a reduction in suffering, this figure varies so widely from one case to another that is difficult to make general estimates. Affected parties would need to examine details, such as medical bills, pain and suffering or lost income.

Get in Touch

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today.

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