You just got into a car wreck and it wasn’t your fault. You instantly feel the pain. You treat with several doctors and are represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer. After you have completed your treatment and a demand will be now be completed and sent to the insurance company requesting money for your losses. How much should your attorney demand from the insurer? What are the elements in any personal injury demand?
Determining the value of injuries and costs in a car accident claim is a complex process that involves various elements. Insurance companies, legal professionals, and other stakeholders consider multiple factors to assess the extent of injuries, the associated costs, and the overall compensation owed to the injured party.
- Medical Expenses: One of the primary elements considered in car accident claims is the injured party’s medical expenses. This includes the cost of emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care. These expenses are quantifiable and serve as a foundation for evaluating the overall value of the claim.
- Lost Wages and Income: Another significant factor is the loss of income or wages incurred by the injured party due to their inability to work following the accident. If the injuries prevent the individual from performing their job, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages lost during the recovery period.
- Property Damage: In car accidents, property damage refers to the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle. It also encompasses other damaged property, such as personal belongings inside the car that were affected by the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering represent the physical and emotional distress experienced by the injured party as a result of the accident. While these damages are not as quantifiable as medical expenses, they are an essential element of the claim’s value. The severity and duration of pain and suffering experienced by the injured party play a role in determining the compensation owed. Additionally, you need to figure in money damages for permanent pain and suffering if the injury is permanent. Typically, I use a life table to determine life expectancy of my clients in my comprehensive demands to see further recovery.
- Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish: In addition to physical pain, car accident victims may suffer from emotional distress and mental anguish. This includes anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other psychological impacts resulting from the traumatic event. The extent and impact of these emotional damages will be considered during the valuation process.
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium refers to the impact of the injuries on the injured party’s personal relationships, particularly their ability to maintain a normal and loving relationship with their spouse or partner. This element takes into account the loss of companionship, affection, and support due to the injuries sustained in the accident.
- Permanent Disability and Impairment: If the car accident results in permanent disability or impairment, the value of the claim will be significantly affected. Permanent disabilities may prevent the injured party from returning to their previous employment or engaging in activities they once enjoyed.
- Comparative Negligence: In some jurisdictions, the concept of comparative negligence comes into play. This means that if the injured party is found partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault. Determining the percentage of fault is essential in calculating the final compensation amount.
- Duration of Recovery: The length of time it takes for the injured party to recover from their injuries is also a factor in determining the claim’s value. Longer recovery periods may result in higher compensation due to increased medical expenses and lost wages.
- Age and Occupations of the Parties Involved: The age and occupations of both the injured party and the at-fault party can influence the claim’s value. For instance, a young person with a promising career who sustains severe injuries may be entitled to higher compensation to account for potential future earning losses.
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Pre-existing medical conditions of the injured party can complicate the valuation process. In such cases, it becomes essential to differentiate between the damages directly resulting from the accident and those related to pre-existing conditions.
- Expert Testimonies and Medical Reports: Expert testimonies from medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and economists can provide objective evidence and analysis to support the injured party’s claim. Medical reports detailing the extent of injuries and the necessary medical treatments also play a crucial role in determining the claim’s value. Moreover, any recommendation for surgery and the costs of surgery can be included in your demand.
- Insurance Policy Limits: The insurance policy limits of the at-fault party can also influence the maximum compensation available for the injured party. If the at-fault driver has limited coverage, it may impact the overall value of the claim. And, if you have applicable underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, then we will seek money from your UM carrier as well.
- Geographic Location and Legal Jurisdiction: The geographic location of the accident and the legal jurisdiction in which the claim is being filed can affect the claim’s value. Typically, suit is filed in the resident of the defendant. Different regions have varying laws, regulations, and court precedents that may impact compensation amounts. In Georgia. there are 159 separate counties. Counties can generally be listed in three categories: defense oriented; neutral; and plaintiff oriented. Generally speaking, claims that are plaintiff oriented have higher settlement value than defense oriented venues. The current map that I use for venue can be found here.
- Settlement Negotiations and Legal Representation: The negotiation skills of your attorney involved can significantly impact the outcome of the claim. Experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to secure higher settlements for their clients.
In conclusion, determining the value of injuries and costs in a car accident claim is a multi-faceted process that considers numerous elements, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disability, and comparative negligence. Expert testimonies, medical reports, insurance policy limits, and geographic location also play a significant role. Ultimately, the goal is to provide fair compensation to the injured party for the damages they have suffered due to the car accident.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car crash, the please contact me immediately for an evaluation of your injury claim. I have been drafting outstanding comprehensive injury demands for over three decades and can help you with your claim. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting car collision claims throughout the State of Georgia. Call me today!