After a car accident, some people may feel that they can settle a claim with the insurance company on their own instead of involving a car accident attorney. The insurance adjustors often claim that they will work with you to ensure the best compensation package.
Sadly, insurance adjustors are only concerned with keeping the payout as low as possible. They often “forget” or underestimate the value of a claim. If you are trying to determine the value of your car accident claim, you must consider the cost of the repairs to your vehicle, your injuries, and your other losses.
Cost of Vehicle Repair
When looking at the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, you must consider the following:
• Value of the vehicle at the time of the accident
• Condition of the vehicle at the time of the accident
• Cost of actual OEM parts to repair your vehicle
• Cost of labor to install parts and repair vehicle
• Cost of paint or bodywork necessary to repair the vehicle
• Depreciation of the vehicle now that it has been involved in an accident
• Replacement value of the vehicle if it has been totaled
This will take some research to get accurate information, and then you must be able to show the insurer that your vehicle meets the criteria for those figures. If left to the insurance company, you will receive the lowest value for your damages.
Value of Injuries and Losses
Personal injuries and losses can be very complicated to determine the value and negotiate a final settlement. Often the injured party values their injuries much higher than the insurer because they are the ones actually experiencing those losses and suffering from the pain.
The cost of all of your medical care for the injury and any necessary future medical care must be covered in this portion of your settlement. If you do not have a working knowledge of what future care needs will be or their costs, you will need to consult with an expert to get a fair value for your claim.
You will also need to determine the wages that you have lost and any potential future wages or benefits you may not receive as a result of the injury. This will need to be calculated as well to make a claim. Any additional injury-related expenses must also be included.
You will then need to determine the pain and suffering amount. In most cases, a multiplier of 1 to 5 is used by attorneys and insurers to determine this amount. For instance, if your losses for the injury came up to $10,000, and you are expected to fully recover, the attorney may use the multiplier of 3 to determine your pain and suffering. The insurer, however, may only use a one because of the full recovery. This is why negotiations take place over the settlement.
You will need to know the full value of your case so that you can pick the multiplier to determine pain and suffering value before you start negotiating with the insurer. Once that is all complete, you will begin the negotiations process so that a final settlement offer can be reached.
Why You May Want To Hire A Car Accident Attorney
If the compensation process sounds complicated, you are right. For anyone who has not had experience dealing with an insurance company regarding compensation, the entire process can be frustrating.
For a complete compensation package for your car accident injuries and losses, it will always be in your best interest to consult with a car accident attorney.