How Damages are Determined in a Car Accident Case

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Due to the fact that almost every single person who drives will be involved in a car accident at some point in his or her driving career, it is important to know what to do in the event of an auto accident. You may also want to know how damages are determined should the case go to court or arbitration of some kind. While many auto accident cases are settled out of court, some do wind up in the courtroom for a judge or jury to decide.


In any auto accident case, you will hear certain words over and over again. One of the words you will hear most often is "damages." What are damages? Here is some very basic information for you as a starting point; however, only an experienced auto accident attorney can give you the most accurate information for the state in which you live.

After a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injury and property damage. Some of the essentials you will need in order to be entitled to damages (in most states) are:

  • Police report
  • 3 value appraisals
  • Car insurance
  • 2 car repair estimates

Liability and Coverage After an Accident

Following a car accident, you will most likely have to deal with your insurance company and maybe even the insurance company of the other driver. Never admit fault on the phone or in person to an insurance agent or representative. Contrary to their claims, insurance companies are not really "on your side." Their job is to pay out as little money as possible. For this reason, it is imperative to seek out an auto accident attorney should you be injured or lose a loved one in a car accident. You should always cooperate completely when asked for estimates of damage or when asked to let your vehicle be inspected by a claims representative or insurance adjuster.

Regarding an auto accident involving other vehicles, you should also make certain the other driver has all pertinent information to turn over to his or her insurer, including your name, address, telephone numbers and vehicle make and model.

Document Damages

Because damages are determined by the extent of "damage" to your person, as well, you must keep careful documentation of all medical attention you receive. If possible, stay with one doctor throughout the duration of the case, but there will be circumstances that warrant the attention of a medical specialist such as an orthopedist, plastic surgeon, or general surgeon when serious personal injury occurs.

Damages can also mean loss of property such as cell phones and other technological gadgets. Luggage or other personal effects lost in a collision will be factored in the consideration of damages, as well.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, or if a loved one died in a car accident anywhere in the United States, please visit the website of The Cochran Firm with offices nationwide to serve you.