What compensation will I receive in case of car accident?

car accident compensation

How is accident compensation calculated?

In the event that you are involved in a car accident, it is always advisable to hire a car accident lawyer. They have the experience and are there to advise and help you through the entire process. Whether you decide to hire a car accident lawyer or not, here are some things you should know about how to calculate accident compensation.

Information needed to make a compensation estimate

There are two elements to consider when making an accident compensation estimate. Damage to the vehicle and damage to persons. The compensation you would receive would be the sum of your vehicle repair costs plus the total medical expenses.

To determine the extent of the damage to the vehicle, several factors and details must be considered. These would be the initial value of the car, the condition of the car at the time of the accident, mileage, depreciation of the vehicle, cost of parts to be replaced and cost of repairs.

To determine the extent of physical damage and injuries, different factors must also be taken into account. This estimate is often more difficult to determine because the human body cannot be priced and an injury may represent greater damage to some people than to others. This is the case with injuries that can end a sports career or prevent you from performing your usual job. An injury to a leg is more damaging to a young athlete than it is to a retired man. It can represent the loss of his career to the first one.

Similarly, a broken hand or damaged tendons can be more damaging to a surgeon or pianist than to someone else, since their hands are their primary work tools. Those most affected can suffer economic and occupational injury in addition to the emotional and psychological damage that everyone involved can experience.

How do insurance companies determine the value of a claim or settlement offer?

Insurance companies use a formula to determine the value of a claim or settlement. This formula is known as the damage formula and is similar to the multiplier method used by car accident lawyers. However, the difference between them is that the multiplier method uses whole numbers and the damage formula uses algorithms to determine the multiplier.

The liable party's insurance company must cover medical costs and related expenses; physical injuries such as suffering, pain, disfigurement, disability; psychological and emotional injuries; and also loss wages and income from injuries caused by the accident.

If there is no pain or injury, the insurance company must cover the costs of the medical examination as well. In cases where the vehicle needs to be replaced, the insurance company must provide compensation in addition to those already mentioned

What are the most used methods to determine the compensation?

Once the information about the vehicle damage and medical injuries has been collected, the car accident lawyer proceeds to estimate the compensation for the accident. For this, there are several formulas that are used. The most common are the multiplier method and the per diem method.

The multiplier method

This is one of the main methods used by car accident lawyers to determine the compensation estimate. It consists of applying a multiplier to the total sum of the cost of both medical and vehicle expenses. The total amount of expenses will be multiplied by a number between 1 and 5 depending on the severity of the case. Cases with higher amounts of medical and vehicle expenses tend to be more serious and the total expenses are usually multiplied by a higher number.

How the multiplier is determined depends on the severity of the case and the liability of the parties involved. In minor accidents, the multiplier is usually 1 or 2. In cases of more serious accidents that require more time to recover or where the affected party has more serious injuries, the multiplier is usually 3 or 4.

Let's assume that the sum of your medical expenses equals $2,000 and your vehicle repair and loss wage compensation expenses equal $6,000. The total sum of the damages would be $8,000. Your lawyer would determine what multiplier to use. Assuming they decide to use a multiplier of 3, which is the most common, the total amount of damages would be $24,000.

This method has its drawbacks because each lawyer uses the multiplier they feel is appropriate for the case and there are often inconsistencies between the amount given by one lawyer and the amount given by another.

The damage formula

The at-fault party's insurance company will use the damage formula to determine the settlement offer. It is determined by adding up the medical expenses, known as special damages and this amount will be multiplied by 1.5 to 3 in cases of minor injuries. In cases of more severe injuries, the total special damages will be multiplied by 5 or more. Then, the loss wage compensation will be added to it.

This is the offer that the at-fault party's insurance company will make and is taken as the starting point for further negotiations. Additional factors will be added to this that may raise the settlement offer.

The per diem method

This is another method commonly used by car accident lawyers. It is also known as the daily rate method and consists of generating a monetary compensation that the affected party would receive daily or weekly during the time that they suffer their injuries after the accident.

Are car accident settlement calculators accurate?

As with the multiplier method, each method of calculating the settlement offer is imprecise. More information and taking into account additional factors are needed to determine an accurate estimate. Also, estimates differ from one method to another and this generates distrust since the estimate generated by one calculator can be very different from the estimate generated by another one.

Although the compensation estimates generated by these calculators are not entirely accurate and more information is required to obtain a more precise result, it is a good tool to obtain an overall result from which to start and then adjust to a more precise estimate.

How do I apply for accident compensation?

If you were in a car accident and were injured, you not only have to deal with the physical and economic consequences of the accident but also with the stress of the whole process of filing a claim for compensation. If you were the victim of an accident and you were not responsible, you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault party or the at-fault party's insurance.

Car accidents can change your life from one moment to the next. Nobody is prepared to have an accident and all the consequences that this entails. This can mean economic loss, physical and psychological damage, loss of income or a job and more. Medical exams are expensive and an accident that is always unexpected changes your plans and can drain your savings quickly.

Financial compensation may not repair your injuries and psychological damage but it gives you the peace of mind to regain your health and get your life back on track without the constant worry of the expenses that an accident entails. The first step in getting compensation is to make a claim. Your car accident lawyer can help you with this so that everything is done the right way and you get the best compensation possible.

What is the difference between first party and third party claims?

There are several factors that will determine the type of claim you can make. Who was at fault in the accident? the nature of the accident, and your insurance coverage. Depending on this, there are two types of claims you can make. First party claim and third party claim.

First party claim is the type of claim you file with your own insurance when you are the at-fault party and you caused damage or injury to the other party. Third party claim is the type of claim you file with the other party's insurance if they were responsible for the accident. Most insurance have third party coverage to cover the expenses of any accident or damage you may cause.

How is the insurance claim process?

After an accident, you must contact the insurance company to make your claim within 24 hours. If you were responsible for the accident, contact your insurance company. If you were not responsible for it, contact the at-fault party's insurance. The insurance company will ask you to report what happened in the accident and to talk about your injuries.

Once this has been done, the insurance company will begin an investigation into the case where you will be asked to provide additional and more accurate information about the accident. You will also be required to provide a detailed medical report by a medical specialist of the insurance company's choice. At this point in the investigation you will be able to provide the evidence and important information you have collected. Photographs of the accident, name and contact number of witnesses and any other information that may be useful are required at this point of the process.

Once the insurance company has all this information, it will proceed to calculate your settlement with one of the methods mentioned above. This will determine the amount of your settlement which you may later reject if you feel it is less than the amount due. You will need to start an appeal process. The same applies if your claim is denied.

What to do in case of denial of claims and the appeals process?

In some cases, the claim is denied. This can happen for several reasons. You may have made the claim too late and your deadline for making the claim has expired. In some cases, the claim is denied because your insurance does not cover such accidents. Your claim may also be denied if you did not have a medical examination.

If this happens, you will be notified by your insurance company and will have to begin the process of appealing the denial of your claim. At this point you should pay special attention to the process as each insurance company has its own appeal process. It would be helpful to have an attorney guide you and help you understand the entire process. You may need to provide additional information and additional medical examination.

Basic car insurance types of claims

There are different types of insurance with different types of coverage. Most offer basic coverage but they give you the option to purchase optional coverage, which is recommended. These are the main types of insurance:

Liability

It is the most common and is very important. This insurance protects you if you cause an accident and someone gets hurt. It covers the material and medical expenses of the affected party as well as compensation for loss wage or source of income. It also covers the costs of your legal defense if you are sued by the other party.

Collision insurance and comprehension coverage

These insurances are optional and usually come in the same package. This insurance covers the cost of your vehicle expenses in case it hits something. It also has coverage in case of vehicle theft, fire, and vandalism.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

This coverage is generally accompanied by the no-fault law used in some states. This law dictates that every insurance company will compensate their client no matter who the at-fault party is. It is generally used for minor accidents and is not a guarantee that the case will not go to trial. Especially in more serious cases where a party is severely injured or someone dies as a result of the accident.

These are some of the benefits provided by the Personal Injury Protection (PIP):

  • Medical benefits. In most cases, your PIP will cover 80% of your medical expenses as long as you have a medical evaluation within the first two weeks after the accident.

  • Disability benefits. It usually covers 60% of your loss of income from your injuries. This includes loss of ability to work and loss wages if your injuries prevent you from performing your job.

  • Death benefits. If a family member is killed in an accident and you make a claim, the deceased's PIP will compensate you with a sum that would generally be $5,000 in death benefits.

What types of compensation exist?

  • Compensation for economic losses. Being part of an accident quickly affects your financial resources. This is the main reason for filling out a claim. The benefits of this compensation are similar to those offered by PIP. This compensation includes:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses. Some of these are: ambulance service, surgery, emergency services, stays, prescriptions, therapy, canes, wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs.

  • Future Medical Expenses. This is important because at the time the claim is made, the patient is beginning to manifest his or her injuries. New injuries may arise later that need to be considered for compensation. In some cases, the injuries leave severe sequels and chronic pain that will require long-term medical attention. An evaluation should be made and this estimate added to the compensation.

  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity: Depending on the severity of the injuries, the affected person may not be able to function on a regular basis. This may affect their work since they will usually have to take time off for days, weeks or even months. Similarly, if the accident leaves them with a disability or requires extensive rest, this will affect their source of income.

  • Compensation for non-economic losses. A car accident can leave you with a number of damages. Some of these are more difficult to account for and that is why your car accident lawyer is an expert who will be able to help you receive the benefits you are entitled to. This compensation includes:

    • Pain and suffering. Recovering from an accident can be very painful. In some cases, these pains can be permanent and linked to severe injuries. Also, accident victims present emotional and psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.

    • Scarring and disfigurement. Some car accident victims receive severe injuries such as extensive burns or amputation of limbs and scars. This requires a long recovery and often multiple surgeries. This also represents an emotional and psychological damage that the victim must deal with.