When you’ve been in a car accident, you can suddenly find your world turned upside down. Not only do you have to deal with your injuries, but you have to contend with the insurance companies to try and get compensated for those injuries. Every year, an estimated 20 to 50 million people are injured or disabled as a result of a car accident, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel. Since each case is different, no exact formula will help you determine how much money you can expect to receive after an auto accident.
Choosing a Lawyer
When dealing with a car accident claim, it’s best to hire a qualified attorney to help you navigate the insurance process. You must keep in mind that a lawyer will usually take 1/3 of your final settlement amount, so it is essential to make sure that all of his expenses are itemized. Derrick Law Firm’s quality legal solutions can help you determine the compensation you deserve after the car accident.
Determining Your Compensation
To learn how much your accident might be worth, you want to add together your auto repair bills, your medical bills, income lost from not being able to work, cost to rent a car, as well as your pain and suffering. While your car insurance company will cover any related medical costs from your accident, as well as your car repair bills and income lost when it comes to your pain and suffering the estimates will vary. There are two different methods you can use to calculate your pain and suffering.
The Multiplier Method
A typical method to estimate your pain and suffering damages is to multiply your expenses for income loss and medical bills by an arbitrary multiple between two and four. For example, if you suffer from whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries you can sustain during a car accident, according to the Accident Doctor, you can expect your medical bills to be around $5,000 and plan to miss up to two weeks of work. If your income for two weeks is approximately $3,000, your total expenses would equal $8,500. If no other factors are affecting your case, you could expect to get up to $34,000 using the multiplier method.
The “Per Diem” Method
If your case goes to court, you’ll want to use the “per diem” method, because the multiplier method is not formally recognized. To calculate your settlement using the “per diem” method, you want to give a per day rate and add it to your expenses. Looking again at an example of whiplash, if your medical bills for the injury total $15,000 and your income loss is $10,000, your total expenses would equal $25,000. If you received treatment for your injuries for three months, but still had pain after three months, then you would assign an amount to each day that you suffered from your injuries, which would be six months for this example.
When it comes to evaluating your settlement value, it’s best to use both methods to come up with a number. Then use common sense to determine a reasonable amount for your pain and suffering claim.