Car accidents can be devastating — mentally, physically as well as monetarily. Can you put a dollar value on all your sufferings? There is no set formula to do that math. However, certain key variables will help you to figure out the possible worth of your car accident claim and get the compensation that you deserve. As you can guess, it is not going to be an easy calculation. You will need the assistance of car accidents lawyers in filing your claim. But before approaching an attorney, do your homework and learn about the factors that play key roles in setting the value of your application.
Policy Coverage Limit
You have suffered damages in an auto accident, and now you are asking for compensation from the at-fault driver, right? Don’t expect your compensation to be exactly proportionate to the extent of your damages. You will get only the amount that is equal to the other driver’s policy value, as it, as a rule, serves as a de facto cap on your settlement. But what if your claim amount exceeds that upper limit? You have to sue the erring driver. And then if the jury awards you what you have been expecting, the defendant will have to utilize his/her personal assets to pay for the difference. If you have under-insured motorist coverage, you can also use it to obtain full compensation for your sustained damages.
Type of Car Damage
Even a fender-bender can give you grave injuries, but insurance companies do not seem to accept this fact. They set the injury claim value by the damage that your car has sustained. In case, your car has been damaged only nominally, they may argue that you have not sustained any serious injury at all.
Medical Bill Amount
All your medical expenses will be included in your total claim value. These costs will heavily influence the calculation of other unquantifiable damages such as pain and suffering.
If you have lost any of your income or the capacity to earn in future due to a car accident, you can demand compensation for this loss. This amount will also be added to your total claim value.
Pain and Suffering
Although unquantifiable, ‘pain and suffering’ includes compensation for physical pain and discomfort caused due to the accident, the injuries and the medical treatment. Pain and suffering also include mental and psychological effects like fear and anxiety, loss of sleep and also post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is not at all easy to convert pain and suffering damages into a dollar figure. But if your injuries were severe and required an extensive medical treatment, pain and suffering can become the biggest category of compensation in a car accident case.
Loss of Consortium/Loss of Enjoyment
Loss of Consortium occurs when a spouse loses the physical companionship and support from the partner due to injury in an accident. It is only awarded to the affected spouse, and not to the injured plaintiff, if the claim is successful. The proper amount of compensation is determined by the impact of the accident on their relationship.
You are entitled to ‘loss of enjoyment’ compensation if the car crash injuries affect your abilities to enjoy your daily life or restrict you from participating in your interests and hobbies.
Now that you have an idea about the major types of compensatory damages, you can make a rough calculation of the worth of your claim. But don’t go the DIY way, seek professional help, instead. Consult some of the reputed and experienced car accidents lawyers in your town. They know how to take the guesswork out of the equation by putting hard numbers into your claim assessment, so that you get the compensation you deserve.