What can I recover in a car accident lawsuit?

No two answers to this question are the same. However, the amount generally depends on three factors: Another party’s liability, the harm you have suffered and the insurance coverage that is available.

A party’s liability can be based on his or her negligent or reckless driving. However, it could also be based on the party serving a drunk driver, hiring an employee who struck your car or putting an unsafe automobile into the marketplace. Establishing a party’s liability takes a thorough and complete investigation into a crash. It often requires consultation with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts.

The extent of the harm you suffer can generally be determined by reviewing your vehicle damage, medical bills and missed employment (or ability to generate self-generated income). Experts can be consulted to determine future medical expenses and the impact on your earning capability. Your physical pain and suffering and emotional distress should also be considered. In some instances, family members may have suffered harm that deserves to be compensated.

Finally, all applicable insurance policies must be reviewed. You must look at the at-fault party’s liability insurance coverage and possibly your own coverage. Your recovery typically will be capped at the limits of those insurance policies.

For more information, please see our section on Investigating Your Car Accident Case.