After being involved in a car accident, you probably have a storm of questions running through your head. What happened? Whose fault was it? Am I injured? Is anyone else hurt? Car accidents are traumatic for all parties involved and can cause high adrenaline levels immediately following the accident.
Once the initial trauma of the accident starts to slow down and your adrenaline levels decrease, you may begin to wonder how you’ll pay for the damages. You might also want to know how much your accident case is worth.
It can be hard to put a dollar amount on everything when filing a car accident claim. Your car accident claim will involve seeking compensation for objectively measurable damages, like property damage and medical bills. But you can also claim for damages that are less easy to quantify, like pain and suffering.
While there’s no set equation for determining the value of a car accident case, there are some key points to consider in every case. Each case will have a different valuation depending on the unique circumstance. Two very similar cases could even have very different financial award amounts. Read on to learn more about the key variables that need to be considered when determining the value of an auto crash case.
Insurance companies and attorneys will focus on these elements to assess the value of a car accident case.
Insurance Coverage and Policy Limits
The first variable to consider is the car insurance the at-fault party has. It’s possible they may not even have insurance. You’ll want to know what policy limits are associated with their insurance coverage as that will impact your claim. Essentially, the amount of compensation you can expect to recover from the at-fault party’s insurance company depends on their type of policy.
The type of insurance policy could also be relevant if your case goes to trial. Even if a jury awards you damages exceeding the at-fault driver’s insurance limits, you will rely on the at-fault party to cover the difference.
For example, let’s say the at-fault driver’s policy limit is $50,000. That would mean the maximum amount you can recover is $50,000 from their insurance company. So even if you can prove that you’ve incurred injuries and losses more than that amount, you would have to sue the driver for anything over $50,000.
With the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney, you will be able to properly assess the value of your damages and seek fair compensation.
Insurance companies will assess vehicle damage as a factor in determining the value of your injury claim. The more serious the damages to your vehicle, the more likely they are to believe that your injuries are due to the car accident. However, if you have minimal damage to your car, the insurer will likely argue that the car accident did not cause your injuries.
The problem with that is that sometimes you can sustain serious injuries but only have minor damage to your vehicle. In such instances, you will benefit from having legal counsel from an experienced car accident attorney.
You are entitled to seek monetary recovery for any medical bills you’ve been burdened with due to the car accident injuries. The total amount of your medical expenses will factor into calculating your car accident claim value.
Lost or Reduced Wages
If you cannot return to work after sustaining injuries from a car accident, you can also seek monetary compensation for those wages. In addition, you may also be entitled to seek compensation for future lost income due to a reduced earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are more difficult to quantify objectively but nonetheless a factor in assessing your claim value. Pain and suffering include compensation for any physical pain and discomfort resulting from your accident injuries.
Pain and suffering also entail any mental or emotional anguish you experience because of the accident injuries. Some examples of psychological effects from the accident could include anxiety, PTSD, depression, or loss of sleep.
Assigning a dollar amount to pain and suffering is slightly more complex than quantifying medical bills or property damage. However, pain and suffering often make up the biggest valuation category in a car accident claim. This is especially true in cases where the victim has sustained severe injuries and undergone extensive medical treatment.
Loss of Consortium or Enjoyment
Loss of consortium is defined legally as the deprivation of benefits of a family relationship. For example, after your loved one is injured or dies in a car accident, you may lose their physical companionship and support. This is known as loss of consortium. Damages for loss of consortium are awarded directly to the spouse of the injured or deceased person.
Loss of enjoyment damages will be awarded directly to you, the victim if your injuries have affected your quality of life. For example, if you cannot enjoy life and recreational activities due to your injuries, you could factor the loss of enjoyment damages into your claim value.
Your Role in the Accident
When determining how much your case is worth, your role is the final factor to consider. Were you partially at fault for the accident? If so, your settlement would be reduced based on comparative negligence laws. If you are somewhat liable for the accident, your award amount could be reduced by however much percentage of the fault you contributed.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
Determining the value of a car accident case is more than just adding up numbers. There are many factors to consider, and sometimes it can be challenging to put a monetary value on those factors. Your best course is to hire a car accident lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and ensure you get the amount you deserve.
It may feel like your life has been completely turned upside down after an unexpected tragedy that leaves you with injuries, medical bills, stress, and more. However, it would help if you did not have to deal with such a traumatic experience alone.
Our Denver car accident lawyers have handled numerous cases and helped victims recover compensation after car accidents. We take a personalized approach to every client, which allows us to provide direct and tailored support. In addition, we will fight tirelessly to ensure you get a fair settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.