After a car accident, you will likely have many questions that need to be answered and issues that need to be addressed. You may be wondering how you will pay for repairs or replacement for your vehicle, what you will do for transportation, how you will pay for any medical bills, and so on. The answer to the majority of your questions is an insurance settlement.
If the car accident was not your fault, then the insurance company of the driver who was at fault will have to pay you a settlement amount. That settlement is meant to compensate you for the losses you suffered because of the accident. They include medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other expenses. You will need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your case because they can gather evidence and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If you live in Long Island, then you can contact car accident lawyer Harrison to get the help you need.
What is Covered By a Car Accident Settlement
If the car accident was your fault and you have collision coverage, then your insurance company will pay some of the costs to fix your vehicle. But if the accident was caused by another driver, then their insurance company should be the one compensating you for your losses. Those losses include tangible expenses, like your various bills, which are called special damages.
Non-economic losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional trauma, and so on are called general damages. Even though non-economic losses do not have a dollar amount attached to them, your attorney still has to calculate how much they are worth when they come up with a settlement demand to get you the compensation that you need.
How a Car Accident Settlement is Calculated
The economic costs are generally easy to calculate since your attorney can simply collect your various bills and add them up. However, if you have an injury that takes a long time to heal, then you have to wait until you reach a state of maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is when you reach a point in your recovery where your condition has plateaued and cannot be improved any further. When you reach this state, your attorney will know how much your medical expenses should be when calculating your settlement amount.
Non-economic losses are a little trickier to calculate with different attorneys and insurance companies using different methods. The multiplier method is the most commonly used one and it is when the cost of your non-economic damages are three to five times the amount of your economic expenses. The multiplier usually increases or decreases based on the severity of your injuries, your recovery time, or any aggravating circumstances such as if the driver responsible for the accident was drunk at the time.
The insurance companies use a more complex method of calculating non-economic losses called the damage formula. The damage formula uses computer algorithms to determine what a person’s settlement for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and so on should be. The other method used by some lawyers and insurers is the per diem method.
Per diem is Latin for per day and that means the lawyer or insurer comes up with a daily or weekly rate for your injuries from the time of the accident to the time of your recovery. The total amount then becomes the part of your settlement dedicated to non-economic damages. In general, there is not really an average settlement amount because of the many variables involved in calculating that amount. That means car accident settlements can range from $10,000 up to $60,000 and higher.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Help with Your Car Accident Settlement
As you can see, calculating a settlement amount is a complicated process that requires the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. They can calculate how much money you need to cover your economic and non-economic losses. So contact a personal injury lawyer if you want to know how much compensation you deserve and if you want the best chance of getting that compensation.