Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injuries in the United States. Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed and millions more are injured in car accidents. Many of these accidents are preventable, and the consequences can be devastating.
Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Many injuries can cause pain and suffering for months or even years.
When you are in an accident, and it is determined that the other driver is at fault, their insurance company will be responsible for paying for the damages. The first thing that will happen is that their insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage to your car. They will also take into account any other damages, such as medical bills, that you have incurred as a result of the accident.
Recovering from personal injuries is only one aspect of an accident. There are medical costs, lost wages, loss of life experiences, mental trauma, personal stress, and loss of personal property that also weigh heavy on the minds of victims.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek experienced legal help. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights, discuss your options, and help you determine the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Note: This and other personal injury calculators on our website are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Please call Torgenson Law to get more personalized advice regarding your potential claim.
The financial burden an accident victim suffers could last an awfully long time and can extend far above any property damages in the long term. Although every case is different, most insurers and courts use a simple formula for determining a payout amount for a personal injury claim. This is accomplished by making an objective list of all expenses resulting from the accident, then adding in the costs of the more subjective aspects to arrive at the final compensation amount.
The first part of the equation is simply a total of every provable financial expense that resulted from the accident or injury.
Provable expenses may include:
These expenses should give an accident victim a beginning dollar amount. These items represent the first segment of overall damages. Insurance companies and courts may consider these expenses as special medical and economic damages that are provable.
There are many different types of damages that can be incurred in an auto accident, but some of the most common are considered general damages. These can include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and even property damage. In some cases, general damages can also include punitive damages, which are designed to punish the at-fault party for their actions.
Some examples of general damages include:
There are a few different ways to prove general damages in an auto accident case. One way is to show that the victim suffered a physical injury. This can be done by presenting medical records or testimony from a doctor. Another way to prove general damages is to show that the victim suffered an emotional injury. This can be done by presenting testimony from witnesses or family members who interacted with the victim after the accident.
In an auto accident, damage multipliers are often used to calculate damages. This is because the actual damages sustained in an accident may be much greater than the property damage alone.
For example, if a driver sustains $5,000 in property damage and $2,000 in medical bills, the total damage would be $7,000. However, if that same driver had $50,000 in medical bills, the total damages would be $57,000.
The damage multiplier allows courts to add additional compensation by considering the severity of the accident and the injuries sustained using a basic formula. The damages multiplier can range from 1.5 to 5 depending on the amount of general damages. The higher the number of general damages, typically translates into a higher damages multiplier.
The typical compensation formula is as follows:
Special Damages x General Damages Multiplier = Total Compensation Paid
Thomas was the victim of an accident where the provable sum of his expenses equaled $18,000, which means his Special Damages amount is $18,000.
In another scenario, Karen suffered from PTSD from her serious car accident. The emotional stress over driving after the accident gave her panic attacks, and the accident caused her to lose out on a new job. Her injuries caused her continuing pain and prevented her from enjoying sports and exercise.
These damages that Karen suffered may qualify for a General Damages Multiplier of 2.5, meaning if she had $20,000 in special damages, plus her multiplier, she would be awarded approximately $50,000 in compensation.
Keep in mind that every case is different, and the amount of compensation depends on the type of injuries, personal stress suffered, and amount of out-of-pocket expenses. The information provided on this page is a good starting point for accident victims, however, only a qualified personal injury attorney can accurately determine how much potential compensation you can receive for your accident.
Here at Torgenson Law, we understand that being involved in a serious auto accident can be a stressful and challenging time for you and your family. We put all the legal resources at our disposal to work on your case because we care about your claim and will work tirelessly to obtain the best settlement from the insurance company. Contact us today for a free consultation.