After a car accident, the situation may seem quite dire, overwhelming, and stressful. Not only must car accident victims deal with debilitating injuries, but they also have to figure out how to manage the sometimes astronomical expenses that arise in the aftermath of a serious accident.
One of the most common questions car accident attorneys get following a motor vehicle accident is “how much is my case worth?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as simple as victims hope it will be. In this blog post, we will delve into some of the factors that influence the outcome of a car accident claim. We will go over the types of available compensation, the factors that can influence the value of a claim, and how an experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for maximum damages.
Types of Damages Available After a Motor Vehicle Collision
Following a car accident, a victim may seek three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages: These damages are quantifiable losses that are directly related to the motor vehicle collision.
- Medical bills, including past medical expenses and future medical bills;
- Lost wages, including past, current, and future lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Personal property damages;
- Rehabilitative therapy costs such as physical therapy or occupational therapy;
- Medical equipment costs (such as a wheelchair or crutches); and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages: These damages are more subjective losses that are not as easily quantified.
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of reputation;
- Loss of a limb;
- Scarring; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages: Unlike the other types of damages, which compensate the victim for losses the victim has incurred, punitive damages punish the wrongdoer for their egregious actions. To receive punitive damages, the victim needs to show that the defendant acted with actual malice or with willful and wanton disregard for their safety. For these reasons, few cases involve punitive damages.
Factors That Affect Compensation Following a Car Accident
No lawyer can give you an exact estimate of how much money you can expect following a motor vehicle accident. You may qualify for damages, but many factors can affect the value of your claim.
These factors include:
- The extent of your injuries (their nature and severity);
- Current medical treatments you require;
- Anticipated future medical treatments you will require;
- Whether you are disabled following the accident;
- Whether your injury is permanent;
- Your ability to work following the accident;
- The amount of lost wages you have incurred;
- The available insurance coverage;
- The defendant’s culpability;
- The credibility of your witnesses and evidence;
- Your ability to take part in normal and routine daily activities; and
- The extent of your pain and suffering.
Even though your attorney cannot tell you exactly how much compensation you will collect, they can look at the above factors, figure out which ones will likely affect your claim, and prepare the best case in response—ensuring that they go after maximum damages on your behalf.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is an equation frequently used by lawyers and insurance companies to calculate the cost of pain and suffering damages. To apply this method, you would add up all your actual damages (or your special damages) and multiply it by a specific number.
Typically, the multiplier will decrease or increase depending on the severity of your injuries, the amount of time it takes for you to recover, and the circumstances of your accident.
For instance, certain factors that can justify a higher multiplier include:
- Severe ongoing pain following the accident;
- Permanent damages such as disfigurement, scars, disability, and psychological issues;
- Physicians indicating your condition will worsen over time; and
- Injuries that cannot never heal.
The multiplier method may seem confusing, especially to the layman, but an experienced lawyer can help navigate the process and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t worry about completing mathematics equations, just focus on your health while a professional fights for your rights.
How Can an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Fight for the Damages You Deserve?
Car accident claims can be tedious, confusing, and rather complicated depending on the circumstances of the crash. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled car accident attorney, you do not have to go through this challenging ordeal by yourself. A lawyer can go over your case in detail, address any concerns you may have, and provide you with advice about the best legal course of action.
In addition, an experienced car accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your accident, gather critical evidence to demonstrate the other party’s liability and your damages, file legal documents on time, and handle negotiations with the insurance company, making sure your case is treated fairly. If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, your attorney can take your case to trial.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motor vehicle collision, you already have enough on your plate. Instead of worrying about the legal complexities involved in a car accident claim, contact an experienced car accident attorney today and let them fight for the damages and justice you deserve.