The answer to the common question of “how much is my Quad Cities car accident claim worth” does not fit into a one-size-fits-all mold. Why? Because no two accidents are the same. The only guaranteed value that we can provide across the board is that anyone who contacts us will receive the same level of service—no matter how minor or severe the outcome of their car accident.
But to dive deeper into this topic, we want you to have a better understanding of how car accident attorneys and insurance companies determine worth for a settlement payment. We’ll also go over steps that a car accident victim can take to help ensure they receive the highest dollar amount possible for their accident and injury claim.
How Attorneys Calculate Car Accident Claim Worth?
After catastrophic car accidents, and even more minor fender benders, drivers and passengers may have the right to seek compensation for pain, losses, and damages. The final worth of an injury settlement after a car can be calculated by establishing a few common factors.
Those factors include determining fault, the severity of emotional and physical injuries, how long it will take to recover from said injuries, the cost of present and future medical bills, lost wages, and the cost to outfit a home with assistive technology and adaptive equipment, as well as other economic and non-economic losses related to or resulting from car accident injuries.
More specifically, they will evaluate whether:
- Any injuries experienced interfere with normal day to day living
- A car accident victim suffers from permanent pain, disability, or limitation
- Injuries affect the ability to work
- Any current emotional anguish results directly from the accident and injuries
Because insurance companies use different methods to calculate a final number a car accident attorney becomes an invaluable tool to help assess a rough estimate of worth for a Quad City car accident claim, and later to negotiate a settlement for payment.
An accident attorney will even go to court with a car accident victim if an agreement cannot be made outside of a judge / jury via a court trial.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in the Quad Cities area, our legal team can help you determine what your car accident claim is worth during a free consultation.
How Insurance Companies Determine Value of a Car Accident Settlement?
Auto insurance companies take a far less human approach to determining how much a car accident claim is worth. Generally, they enter types of injuries and other factors relating to the accident into a computer program. That program uses preset algorithms to crunch medical “special damages,” general damages, and lost wages together to provide a final settlement amount.
Special damages include medical bills and related expenses incurred after a car accident. General damages include pain and suffering, emotional damages, and permanent disabilities
Two basic algorithms that insurance companies may use to calculate a car accident settlement:
Special damages x a multiplier of 1.5 to 3 + lost wages = minor injury settlement amount
Special damages x a multiplier of 5 + lost wages = severe injury settlement amount
The insurance company may then present a number that is significantly less than that calculated dollar amount. This is why speaking with an experienced car accident attorney prior to talking to the insurance company is key to helping negotiate the maximum amount possible for a car accident claim.
At a minimum, the insurance company should present a settlement amount that fairly compensates the car accident victim’s medical bills, vehicle repairs or replacement, and lost wages. However, the insurance company does not always do this.
For more serious car accidents, an insurance company should provide compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Vehicle replacement
This of course depends on the type of insurance coverage the injured and at-fault person carry.
Process of Filing a Quad Cities Car Accident Claim
You may or may not know the process for filing an auto accident claim. To start, after a car accident you would file an injury claim with your own auto insurance provider.
Depending on the amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage you have, your insurance policy limits may not cover your expenses. Your insurance company may even refuse to pay for your car accident claim.
Then once you’ve exhausted your Illinois or Iowa PIP policy limits, you would contact the at-fault drivers insurance company. When you do this a separate claim get processed under their bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage.
This process can be stressful and detract from the necessary time required to recover and heal after a car accident. With the assistance of a local car accident attorney, however, you can focus on resting and improving your overall health.
Related article: How Much Car Insurance Do You Really Need in the Quad Cities?
How to Get the Most out of Your Quad Cities Car Accident Claim?
Depending on the severity of your injuries and other damages, a personal injury lawyer will have the skills to negotiate a higher amount that you would on your own. Aside from that, you should do the following to help ensure that you get the full worth of accident claim:
- See a doctor immediately to evaluate and document your injuries
- Make sure that you do not miss any medical appointments to treat your injuries
- Do not speak with or sign anything from either your insurance company or any other insurance company without a lawyer
- Find an experienced personal injury attorney with a reputation for looking out for their clients’ best interests
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After a Quad Cities Car Accident
Insurance companies have a reputation for low-balling insurance claim settlements and employing questionable tactics. When you hire a car accident lawyer, you’ll receive assistance determining your Quad Cities car accident claim worth. You will also get a valuable negotiator who knows how to maximize the value of your claim.
Contact Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you. We’ll review the details of your case and help you establish the value of your claim. Our legal team will also provide you with legal options so that you can make an informed decision.
Should you decide to use our services, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. Call us now at (309) 794-1515, connect with one of our LiveChat agents, or confidentially share your case details online now.