The light at the end of the tunnel, for those who have been injured in a car accident, is the prospect of fair compensation. You know the accident was not your fault, but what can you expect from the other side’s insurance company? Read on for a guide to how insurance companies determine how much you are entitled to receive as a result of your injuries.
Everything that happened to you as a result of the automobile accident can be summed up with the term “damages.” Damages can include several different areas of compensation, all related to the cost of your injuries. Commonly, you can expect to be compensated for:
1. Medical Expenses: Anything from treatment at the scene to continuing physical therapy is included—doctors, hospitals, mental health treatments, medication and home care, and anything else required in an attempt to bring your state of health back to the pre-accident level.
2. Vehicle and Personal Property: Not only are you entitled to a vehicle repair or replacement, you should also claim any personal property, like child car seats and cell phones that were lost or damaged as a result of the accident.
3. Lost Wages: All time off from your job to spend recuperating or attending to any medical treatments can be claimed. Additionally, you may have a claim for any loss of business, bonus or raise if you can show that the accident interfered with a client appointment or other work-related issue that could have improved your chances for additional career advancement.
4. Permanent Disability: If your injuries prove to be so severe that you suffer a lifetime of being disabled, you could be entitled to a lump sum payment to compensate you for your loss of earning ability.
5. Pain and Suffering: A traumatic event like a car accident can have a devastating effect on your emotional well-being and you may find yourself suffering from depression, anxiety, moodiness, eating and sleeping difficulties, and more. Don’t neglect the effect the accident has had on your family as well as on you.
5. Miscellaneous: Cancellation of planned vacations, missed educational opportunities, missed family events, etc.
How Damages are Calculated
The most important figure in the calculation for damages is the dollar amount of your medical expenses, so be as accurate as possible with that number. The medical expense figure is multiplied by a number that corresponds with the severity of your injuries. For example, if your severity number is a 5 (the highest number), you can expect to be offered 5 times the dollar amount of your medical expenses. Your vehicle loss and lost income is then added to that figure for a final settlement offer amount.
It’s very important to understand that this calculation produces only a general, ballpark guideline and you and your personal injury attorney should use that calculation to arrive at your own figure for negotiation purposes.
Contact a personal injury firm such as Wolfley & Wolfley, P.S. to help ensure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve as a result of car accident.