Determining the Value of a Car Accident Claim

Every case is different. A car accident victim may suffer traumatic, life-threatening injuries or may escape entirely unscathed. Their vehicle may be totaled. They may have other issues to consider, such as a pre-existing injury or after-market modifications on their vehicle that would alter the value of the claim. Because there are so many variables, it may be helpful to work with a lawyer who can use experts in medicine, economics, psychology, automobiles and other fields to accurately determine the extent of physical, financial and emotional damage that a victim has experienced and may experience in the future.

Another issue that may affect the value of a car accident claim is whether the state handles auto accidents on a fault or no-fault basis. On a fault basis, the injured party seeks financial compensation from the driver or other person or company responsible for causing the accident. On a no-fault basis, the injured party seeks compensation from his or her own insurance company. Financial compensation is more likely to be limited in a state that mandates no-fault auto insurance, but if a victim suffers permanent injury he or she may be able to seek additional compensation from the party that caused the accident.

What is my claim worth?

Though it is true that every case will be different and the value of your claim may vary depending on a number of factors, there are three primary components to consider when determining what your car accident claim may be worth:
  • Medical Expenses – this may include medical care that you have already received, medication, medical supplies, the cost of traveling to and from doctor appointments, and future medical treatment that may be necessary due to the extent of your injuries.
  • Lost Wages – this may include income you have lost because you missed work while injured. It may also include loss of future earnings if you are unable to work in the same field or position or are unable to return to work at all.
  • Pain, Suffering, Disability and Disfigurement – this is perhaps the trickiest part of determining the value of a car accident claim. This may include non-economic damages that a person has experienced, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disfigurement and disability.

In a minor collision, it may not be important to work with a lawyer. The insurance company may simply pay for the repair of your vehicle or for a small medical bill. If you have been seriously injured, hospitalized or have missed work, or your vehicle has sustained significant damage, you may find it necessary to work with an attorney. In high-value claims, the likelihood that the insurance company will delay payment or offer an unfairly low settlement is much higher. An attorney can put pressure on the insurer to handle your claim in a fair and timely manner.

Learn what your case may be worth. Click here to find a car accident lawyer in your area.