How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
When you’ve suffered an injury from a car accident, product liability, third party negligence, or from a work related cause, one of the biggest problems you’ll face is proving how much you need to be fully indemnified or compensated or how much your personal injury claim is worth. This is where the biggest disputes between policyholders and insurance companies or injured victims and the faulty party’s insurance provider arise. Knowing how you can calculate how much your claim is worth can be helpful when talking to adjusters or deciding if you need an Austin personal injury attorney. Here’s some advice to determine if you need a personal injury attorney and how much your claim is worth.
What Are Damages For In A Personal Injury Claim?
Damages paid to an injured party by an insurance company are there to cover three different economic damages: your medical expenses, property damage, and loss of income. Therefore, the best way you can discover how much your claim is worth is to take a detailed account of how much an injury has cost you in these three categories. Here are some steps to take:
Assess Your Medical Expenses
Keep copies of every bill you receive from your physician and hospital. Make sure your physician documents why the medical problems happened. Insurance companies will try to prove that some injuries are the result of preexisting conditions so its vital that you show your injuries were because of the accident.
After you’ve gathered all your current bills, gather any estimates you can obtain from physicians or experts about the future expenses you will incur because of the injury. Any medications, physical therapy, equipment, or future risks you’ll have to check up on. in total, your medical expense for a personal injury claim will include:
doctor visits + physical therapy + medication + equipment + any future need = total medical expenses
Assess Your Lost Wages
This is pretty easy to figure out. Any wages you’ve lost and any future wages you’ve lost need to be reimbursed. Contact your employer and physician. Your physician will have to validate that you missed work because of your injuries and your boss will have to validate that you did in fact not get paid for this missed work. Get a written validation from both of these authorities and the amount you’ve lost and will lose in the future.
past and present lost wages + estimate future lost wages = total lost wages
Asses Your Property Damages
If you are in a car accident or a malfunctioning product caused damage to your home or other piece of property you will need to get documentation showing how much the damage was worth. This process can lead to more dispute than the other two. Here are the steps to follow:
- Make a list of all the items that were damaged.
- If it’s a car or home, don’t just depend on the insurance adjuster. Get quotes from third parties who don’t have an interest in the case. This will insure the fairness of the quote and you can show these to the insurance provider.
- If the case involves a car and the car is totaled, then you will need to asses how much the car was worth. Insurance companies use Kelly Blue Book and other conventional means to do this. You’ll need to do your own research to ensure they are quoting you a fair price.
- NOTE—If the car needs repairs, this when you’ll need quotes from various parties to ensure fairness. Make sure to schedule an appointment with the adjuster so you can be present when they inspect your vehicle or property for damages.
- Keep and organized report on the damages of your car and your own research so you can present this to your attorney or insurance adjuster.
The formula for determining property damages is a bit more complex depending on how to property is damaged. Does it need to be replaced? Then insurance companies will determine how much it costs to replace the property. Does it need to be repaired? Then insurance companies will need to find out a fair amount to pay for replacement.
cost of repair or cost to replace = total property damages
Your Personal Injury Claim: Economic Damages and Beyond
total medical expenses + total lost income + total property damage = total economic damages
But economic damages aren’t where a claim stops. If the party who caused the injury was negligent, you will be entitled to non-economic damages for pain and suffering and maybe even punitive damages to teach the negligent party a lesson. This requires a more complex argument and greater understanding of the judicial system than we can provide in this post. If you would like more information to ensure you get are compensated for the amount you deserve, call us for a free consultation today.