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What Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
After a car accident happens, and the claim process is started, one of the first things that injury victims want to know is the value of their claim. While this is a very valid question, it is almost impossible to put an exact figure on the value of your claim because every claim will be different. Call 856-284-6446 to speak with a car accident lawyer in NJ.
Your attorney may give you a value range based on their experience in similar cases, but they cannot give you an exact value. There are many different factors that come into play when determining a compensation package. Ince every accident and injury is different; each of these factors will also be different. However, there is a basic guideline that can help you understand how the final value is determined.
The type of insurance policy covering the accident will have a factor in the amount that is granted in a settlement. The settlement amount will rarely exceed the policy limits unless an underinsured policy can also be used to cover the final value of the compensation package.
In some cases where the compensation value exceeds the policy limits, a lawsuit may be taken out against the other driver against their personal assets. However, if the other driver does not have the capability to pay that debt, the injured party may not receive anything at all from this lawsuit.
If Your State Has Comparative Negligence Laws
If you live in a state with comparative or contributory negligence laws concerning car accidents, your settlement can be affected. These laws allow the fault to be placed on both drivers if there is supporting negligence.
For example, if the evidence shows that you were 10 percent responsible for the accident, any settlement offer that is made will then be reduced by 10 percent to account for your fault in the accident. Most states with these laws only allow a person to file for compensation if they are 49 percent or less responsible for an accident.
Damage to Your Vehicle
Although payments for damages to your vehicle are processed separately from any claims for injuries, the insurance company is still going to look at the damage to your car to determine the extent of your injuries. While this is obviously not a good way to judge how seriously someone was injured, it is the insurer’s belief that a car with minor damage means that there were minor injuries.
Medical expenses will be a large portion of your compensation package. This amount also plays a very large part in determining non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Lost Wages and Lost Future Earning Capacity
If you have lost wages and benefits due to your car accident, these losses will be part of your compensation packages. If you have future losses to your income as a result of your injuries, this amount will also be included as part of the compensation package.
Pain and Suffering
If your state allows you to make a claim for pain and suffering, there is a formula that will be used to determine the amount. In most cases, the insurance company looks at your medical expenses and uses different multipliers to determine the value.
For instance, a minor injury may have a multiplier of 1.5, while a severe or debilitating injury may have a multiplier of 6. The exact number used is based on the insurance carrier and their view of your injuries.
Other Types of Compensation
There may be other forms of compensation available to you based on the terms of your insurance policy, state laws, and the facts surrounding your injuries. Different forms of compensation can affect your overall compensation package.
Speak To An Attorney About Your Car Accident
The compensation process can be complicated, especially if you are trying to manage a claim on your own. Insurance companies often take advantage of injury victims representing themselves because they do not know the formulas to calculate the comp packages, know all forms of compensation, or know all of the laws surrounding insurance claims.
When an attorney manages your case, they understand the claims process. They know how to calculate a settlement that is complete. Your attorney will make sure that all areas of compensation are explored and that the insurer treats the injured party fairly.
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