People who have been in a
car accident are often hard-pressed to come up with the funds to pay for medical costs,
vehicle repair, and so on. This naturally begs the question, “How
much will my auto accident claim be worth?” Will filing a claim
and accepting a settlement really get you enough money to cover all of
Unfortunately, there is no formula to calculate the absolute value of a
car accident claim with guaranteed accuracy. There can be a variety of
factors that change the final total, so any calculation you do complete
will only be a rough estimate that could be undervalued or overvalued
by a considerable margin by the end of your case. There is, however, a
generalized “settlement calculation” that you can use if your
curiosity is getting the better of you, or if you have already been offered
a settlement and you aren’t sure if it is even close to fair.
Here’s how the basic car accident claim calculator works:
- Collect your medical bills and total up all of the costs you have experienced so far.
- Speak to your doctor to get the expected cost of all of your medical treatments
from now until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI), or the
point at which you are no longer expected to recover from your injuries
no matter the treatment options available to you.
- Use bills from mechanics or dealerships to total the costs of vehicle repair
and replacement – don’t forget other related expenses like
towing from the car accident site.
- You might next need your employer’s help to determine how much of
your earnings and wages you have lost already plus how much paid time-off
(PTO) you have used.
- Just like with your medical costs, you must also know how much income you
will lose in total throughout all the years due to your injuries and debilitations.
- Add up all of the amounts you previously collected – called actual
damages – and multiply that total by your “pain and suffering
What is a pain and suffering index, though? This is where calculating the
value of your car accident claim becomes difficult. If you were not liable
for your accident, then you can most likely pursue damages to pay the
emotional and physical trauma you have experienced. These “pain
and suffering” costs are usually equal to your total actual damages
multiplied by any number between 1.5 and 5, or even up to 10. The more
you have suffered, the higher the multiplication.
For example: A motorist is blindsided by a drunk driver and suffers injuries that lead
to total paralysis of his legs. Due to the trauma of losing the ability
to walk and the excruciating pain of the injuries, his actual damages
are multiplied by 5 when pursuing compensation. In another case, a woman
slips and falls on a puddle in a grocery store – the same general
calculation works for all
personal injury claims – and suffers a concussion. She is hospitalized and misses two weeks
of work to ensure she recovers fully. Her actual damages are only multiplied
by 1.5 due to the comparative lack of trauma from her fall.
Insurance Caps & Professional Representation
Keep in mind that the general “formula” for estimating your
auto accident claim’s value is not guaranteed to be accurate. Insurance
caps must also be considered when thinking about settling a claim. In
many cases, no matter how extensive the actual damages and emotional trauma
caused by an accident, the petitioner can only collect an amount that
does not exceed the insurance cap set by the liable party’s insurance provider.
This is where retaining a car accident lawyer becomes
even more important. At The Warren Firm, PLLC, our Charlottesville personal injury
attorneys can back your claim with more than 15 years of legal experience
and a history of successful
case results to pursue a maximum compensation amount, and not a penny less. We can
also help you estimate what your claim’s value should be if you
have been presented a settlement offer from the liable party – you
should not agree to any amount without first letting a lawyer examine
Want to know more about our services? Call toll-free 888.709.9869 or email us