Motor vehicles are the transportation method of choice for most Americans. However, too many car accidents and collisions happen every day across the country.
Fortunately, car accident victims have the legal right to pursue compensation for the costs and losses that they sustain. With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, collision victims can often get justice through pursuing a claim.
Following a successful car accident claim, you will probably be awarded financial compensation. A knowledgeable accident attorney will help you to secure the compensation that you are due.
Most car accident claims are settled outside of the courtroom. A legal settlement is an agreement between the two parties in question. Typically, a settlement involves the at-fault party providing compensation to the victim.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic collision, do not wait. Make sure to contact a knowledgeable legal professional as soon as possible. The skilled team at Morgan & Morgan has decades of experience recovering settlements for our clients.
We will gladly provide you with a no-cost and no-obligation case evaluation. We will walk you through the process and help you get the compensation from your settlement that you deserve.
Before agreeing on a settlement, you may feel concerned about your private information being available to the public. Are car accident settlements public record? Continue reading to find out. We will discuss some of the most important issues related to car accident settlements below.
Understanding the Value of Car Accident Claims
The moments after a traffic collision are stressful and can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you have suffered an injury as a result.
Following a car accident, it is vital to consult with a legal professional. If your accident or injuries were the result of another person’s negligence, you may be owed significant financial damages.
After an accident, some victims hope to keep their sensitive information private. Are car accident settlements public record if you never step foot in a courtroom? They generally are.
Most traffic accident cases are settled outside the courtroom. In these cases, your legal representative will negotiate on your behalf with the relevant insurance provider. These private settlements usually do not go on the public record.
The average car accident settlement in the United States is around $19,000. However, it is important to remember that each accident case is unique.
The value of your car accident claim will be determined by the specific circumstances of your situation. These include:
- The nature of the crash
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- Your financial losses resulting from the accident
- Other negative effects from the crash
Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer will ensure that you understand the value of your claim. Do not settle for an inadequate amount of compensation.
Typically, car accident cases involve two types of financial compensation. These two categories are known as “economic” and “non-economic” damages.
In traffic collision cases, economic damages are intended to make the accident victim financially whole.
Those with injuries do not only experience physical and emotional damage.In most cases, victims experience mounting financial responsibilities and challenges.
Some of the most typical examples of economic damages in car accident cases include repayments for:
- Property damage, including vehicular damage
- Past medical costs and expenses
- Expected costs of future medical needs
- The value of lost wages from missed work
- The loss of long-term earning capacity
- Medical travel, including ambulance rides
Most victims underestimate the financial losses from their car accidents. That is why it is critical to have a seasoned personal injury attorney review the facts of your case.
Many of the most traumatizing consequences from a car accident injury do not result in monetary losses. Even though this type of damage is not financial, victims deserve compensation.
Payments for these intangible negative consequences are called “non-economic” damages. The most common examples in traffic collision cases include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Disability and disfigurement
Unfortunately, some car accidents are fatal. When a victim is killed in a car accident, their surviving family may be able to recover the compensation they would have been owed.
Are car accident settlements public record if the victim has been killed? After a fatal crash, the decedent’s survivors can pursue financial compensation for the loss of the relationship. If settled out of court, these records are generally not available to the public.
No matter the circumstances of your motor vehicle collision, the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help.
What Is a Legal Settlement?
Settling a car accident case means that the dispute has been resolved without the need for a trial. Most traffic collision claims are resolved through a settlement and do not require litigation.
Typically, the parties involved negotiate and come to a resolution that works for everyone. The reason that most cases are settled without the need for a trial is the uncertainty of a civil trial.
Even in cases where the facts are clear, juries can be unpredictable. Victims rarely want to risk losing their compensation because of a jury’s decision.
So are car accident settlements public record? The answer will depend on whether your case proceeds to the courtroom. Cases that go to court are public record, but cases that are settled generally are not.
Are Car Accident Settlements Public Record?
Many traffic accident victims are shocked to learn that the details of their car accident case can be obtained by anyone. By searching public records, interested parties can learn detailed information about certain events.
Some publicly available documents include:
- Marriage certificates
- Criminal history records
- Birth certificates
- Court filings
This means that if your car accident claim requires litigation, the record of the trial will become public record. In other words, financial compensation resulting from a civil case is a matter of public record.
However, if you settle a case outside of the courtroom, the details do not become publicly available. This is another reason to strive for a settlement without a trial.
Settling your case without litigation helps to keep your sensitive information private. Many victims want to ensure that no one can learn details about their car accident settlement.
There are several reasons to secure a skilled personal injury lawyer who can negotiate a fair settlement for you. When a case goes to trial, personal testimony and private details about the accident will become matters of public record. A settlement before trial can prevent this.
Also, settling car accident claims outside of the courtroom is a much quicker process. Civil trials can take months or years to resolve.
By hiring a knowledgeable traffic accident attorney, you may recover financial compensation much sooner than you would from a trial. The accomplished attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand how to successfully negotiate car accident settlements.
The Importance of Hiring a Legal Representative
Some motor vehicle accident victims attempt to pursue financial recovery without the help of an attorney. This is inadvisable in almost all cases.
Insurance company representatives are often trained with tactics to undermine or downplay the value of victims’ claims. When you hire a skilled attorney through the firm of Morgan & Morgan, we will counter these strategies effectively.
Emphasize the Seriousness of Your Accident
Adjusters will often try to get the claimant to make statements about their accident that undermine their case. For instance, suppose an insurance adjuster asks how you are, and you say “fine.”
In most contexts, this would only count as being socially polite. However, the insurance company may use this statement to argue that you are not severely injured because of the crash.
A skilled lawyer will support your claim by citing important evidence, including medical records, photographs, and more. This will make it challenging for the insurance company to offer you less than you deserve.
Never Admit Fault
Insurance company representatives may also ask questions designed to place blame for the accident on the victim. While you should be honest, it is critical to avoid admitting fault for the accident.
Even if you believe that you caused the collision, you may be wrong. Let a skilled legal representative from Morgan & Morgan negotiate forcefully on your behalf.
Our team will ensure that the relevant insurance provider does not offer a lowball or inadequate settlement. We believe that accident victims deserve maximum compensation for the damages that they have sustained.