How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
What kind of money damages can you expect after being injured in a traffic accident through no fault of your own? It’s a simple question with no single answer, as no two accidents or resulting injuries are the exactly the same. The final settlement or court award should reflect not only your medical bills, vehicle repairs and lost income, but the emotional burdens and suffering incurred. Whether you are filing a car accident claim with your own insurance carrier, or that of the at-fault party, the easiest way to ensure you’re getting a fair payout is by hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies are trained to protect their financial interests, which ultimately comes at your expense. An experienced lawyer can present vital evidence, medical documentation and legal arguments that strengthen the value of your case.
As any competent attorney will tell you, there is no set formula to predict your claim’s exact worth. At Ellis Injury Law, we are honest with our clients regarding expectations on what a settlement or jury award might look like, and oftentimes this can’t be accomplished until after our clients have reached maximum medical improvement, giving us the full financial picture.
The most accurate way to get a ball-park estimate of a claim’s value is looking at the most important factors considered by insurance companies and the courts.
How much are your medical bills?
Medical expenses, including money spent on ambulance transportation, diagnostic scans, ER treatment, surgeries, hospitalization, doctor’s visits, medication, medical equipment and physical therapy must be factored into the compensation package. This sum must also account for ongoing or life-long care expenses that are typical with catastrophic injuries like paralysis, or traumatic brain injury.
Lost wages and loss of future income
These are economic losses that are directly related to the car accident. The claim should incorporate the wages you would have earned if you had not been injured in the accident and, if your injury is preventing your ability to do your job, you will also be reimbursed for those future lost earnings.
Costs to repair your vehicle
The insurance company will provide a standard estimate on how much it will cost to repair your vehicle (or replace if it has been totaled).
While hospital bills and lost wages are tangible losses and easily documented, pain and suffering is not. Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages and are much more difficult to prove since this category encompasses the physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident. This component includes the psychological effects and consequences that are a by-product of the physical injuries and the stress of the accident. As many car accident victims understand – the emotional toll can be heavy – leading to prolonged periods of depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, this can create a negative chain reaction, causing dramatic mood swings, sleep disruption, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunction and other disturbances that undermine quality of life.
Attaching a monetary figure to the pain and emotional distress that one has suffered and likely continue to endure in the future is no easy task, another reason why having skilled legal counsel will aid your case.
Has the injury permanently affected your quality of life?
In vehicle accidents resulting in more severe or disabling injuries, the claim’s value will undoubtedly be higher, not only because of medical expenses and rehabilitative care, but because the injury has diminished one’s quality of life. When the claimant is in chronic pain, unable to perform routine activities, or function normally, this affects not only their own happiness and well-being, but their relationships with spouses and loved ones. This loss of enjoyment in life deserves adequate compensation.
Maximize the amount of car your accident claim
Insurance adjusters will always come up with a dollar figure that is woefully inadequate, which is why it pays to retain one of our skilled Los Angeles car accident attorneys with a proven track record of results.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Ellis Injury Law has a stellar reputation for achieving outstanding settlement negotiations and courtroom victories on behalf of clients.
Maximize your chances of getting the full compensation you need and deserve after a car accident by contacting the talented Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law Corporation.