After being injured in a car accident and deciding to pursue a personal injury claim for your damages, you will probably want to know what your claim is worth. After all, this is one of the most common questions personal injury lawyers get asked. Although it may seem like there should be an easy answer to this question, it is anything but simple. This is because there are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of a car accident case.
When insurance adjusters look at car accident claims to determine value, they will calculate vehicle damage and the type of injury sustained. However, insurance companies will always attempt to settle cases quickly and for as little money as possible. This is why it is important to note that the value the insurance company places on your case isn’t necessarily what your case is worth. Your car accident injury claim may be worth much more than the figure an insurance adjuster presents to you at the beginning of a claim.
How Car Accident Claims Are Valued
When an auto accident involves an injury, a personal injury case value will usually hinge on the type of injury sustained and the other losses involved related to that injury. Other losses often include lost income and pain and suffering. Because car accident values can range widely, it is critical that you don’t rush into trying to decide your case value or accepting a settlement offer before really considering the three main factors that go into determining a case’s value:
- Injuries and medical bills. The biggest factors in any financial recovery following a car accident are the seriousness of an injury and the amount of medical treatment required. When injuries arise, it is impossible to immediately know if an injury will worsen over the next several weeks, how much treatment will be needed, and if multiple surgeries will be required. All of these things will be determined in the weeks and months following a crash as the extent of your injuries are discovered. Once all of your injuries are known and medical bills have been calculated—including hospital expenses, surgical bills, prescription costs, physical therapy expenses, and future medical care—this portion of your case’s value can be calculated.
- Lost income. Many people who suffer serious injuries have to miss work in order to seek medical care and make a full recovery. Often lost time from work can lead to serious financial losses. What’s worse is that insurance companies often contest the amount of time victims miss from work. An experienced lawyer will know how to support your case for lost wages and help you get the lost earnings you need during this difficult time.
- Pain and suffering. It is very difficult to put a value on pain and suffering because everyone injured in car accidents may suffer different levels of physical pain and emotional and mental suffering, such as grief, fear, and insomnia. This is why there are specific computer programs insurance companies use to determine an amount for pain and suffering based on the type of injury a victim suffered. Because our lawyers know about these programs and calculations, we can determine if the insurance company is allotting the right amount for pain and suffering damages.
Determining Your Car Accident Case Value
Once there is a complete picture of your physical injuries and other losses, then it is reasonable to determine your car accident case value. As you can see here, the more serious the injury, the higher the medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering damages will be. In addition, there could be other factors that will affect your case value such as out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. After taking all these factors into account, we can arrive at a fair settlement range for your case.
If the insurance adjuster isn’t willing to provide you with a fair financial recovery, our accident attorneys aren’t afraid to take your case to court in order for you to receive the full value of your car accident injury claim. For help now with this, please contact us or call us for a free consultation at 703-721-4233.