More than 2.5 million Americans end up in the emergency room every year because of car accident injuries. Crash injuries are responsible for $18 billion in lifetime medical costs.
Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of personal injury cases in the United States. Accident injuries range from minor scrapes and bruises, to permanent disability and death.
When you’re injured in an accident caused by someone else, you have the right to expect fair compensation for your medical costs, related expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Most injury claims are made to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For severe or complicated injury claims, a personal injury attorney may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could file for the following various damages.
Repairs or Replacement for Your Vehicle
Generally, the insurance company will pay the lesser of the following: the amount necessary to repair the vehicle or the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle.
If the cost to repair the damages is more than the value of your vehicle, the insurance company may consider your car totaled and give you a lump sum based on how much it’s worth.
This represents the time you had to miss from work while recovering from your injury or receiving medical care. If your injury impacted your ability to do your job and earn a living on a short-term or long-term basis, then the amount of your claim will grow exponentially.
Past and Future Medical Bills
This category covers medical bills we can reasonably anticipate you will incur in the future due to the accident.
For example: A straightforward whiplash case with a doctor diagnosis and some chiropractic treatments may win $2,000-3,000 in addition to the cost of your medical bills. The medical bills alone often go over $10,000 at this point, and you could be awarded $20,000 or more total.
One guideline for determining a settlement is that the total will be about three times the cost of your medical bills. So, if your medical bills were $30,000 and your lost wages were $9,000, you would multiply $39,000 by 3 to get $117,000.
Pain and Suffering
This piece of your claim is typically reserved for severe injuries include things like broken bones, severed limbs, and many head injuries. Any accident that caused organ damage or required surgery is also likely to be seen as a severe injury. There is no simple way to offer a best-guess value on these types of injuries. However, these types of injuries can bring substantial financial recoveries of $100,000 or more. These claims can often include additional money for pain and suffering
Your Next Steps
If you have been in a serious car accident , the law requires you to take certain steps to report the crash to the appropriate authorities. Most states do not require you to call the police if the car accident was minor, it can be in your best interest to do so especially if you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit later on.
Considering these factors, no two accidents will ever be the same, so it follows that no two injury settlements will ever be identical either. And despite what some attorneys would have you believe, there is no perfect formula or multiplier used to calculate your settlement. Each settlement is tailored for each particular situation.
The amount of money you may get for pain and suffering depends on the severity of your injuries. In most minor soft tissue injuries, if your injury responds well to physical therapy, and you recover within a few months, it’s likely worth less than $10,000 in addition to medical costs, but could fall somewhere between $14,000 and $28,000. For personal injury cases where a lawsuit is filed, this percentage can increase up to 40 percent.
When a person’s injury from a car accident is more serious, such as a spinal cord injury, the injured person may get between $90,000 upwards to $1 million. The amount depends on the medical bills, and injury severity or permanence.
The best and easiest way to find out what your claim will be worth is to speak with a law office directly. Most offer a free meeting to discuss any potential car accident claim. From there, a lengthy investigation may be initiated, and the personal injury lawyer will work on a contingency basis to negotiate the settlement with the other party’s insurance company.