If you have been involved in a car accident in Arizona where you sustained injuries, it is highly likely that you are entitled to a monetary settlement. Tucson residents experience accidents of all sorts, and whether they occur in Tucson or other places throughout the state, a qualified and experienced Tucson personal injury attorney can help you calculate what you are owed and pursue the companies who are liable.
A settlement is intended to compensate for your expenses, pain and suffering damages, and other related troubles. But it can be difficult to know how to start the process of seeking compensation, or to know a starting point amount for how much your case is worth. Insurance companies would like to settle with you quickly, but they may not be offering you a fair settlement.
In this situation, it is important to educate and familiarize yourself with the aspects of your suffering that can be enumerated and included in settlement costs.
To assist in calculating the monetary value of injury from a car accident, medical settlement calculators are available to determine what your personal injury claim amount should be in a legal settlement.
Here is a breakdown of the line items in a settlement calculator. This will help to boost your understanding so that you do not leave anything out when bringing your case to an auto accident law firm.
What are the Types of Damages you can be compensated for in a car accident?
There are two types of damages in a car accident settlement: economic damages that are typically easy to assign value and non-economic damages that may be more difficult to calculate.
What is considered an Economic Damage that is calculated for car accident victims?
This is the total cost of medical bills that you have incurred, even if you did not pay for them out of pocket. Keeping a correct and organized record of all medical expenses including doctor visits, surgeries, medical equipment, and medications is the best way to make sure you account for every dollar.
Special Note: It is important to notify a doctor of every symptom you experience, even if it seems minor. Notations in your record from medical personnel are much more likely to be accepted by an insurance adjuster than your own personal testimony.
This includes damage to your vehicle and items inside your vehicle at the time of the car accident. It is best to have your car insurance company complete a thorough assessment of the damage and use their records as opposed to making a personal estimate.
This is the sum of all lost wages due to the car accident. If you used benefits such as vacation or other paid time off days, you should include the amount of income for those days as if it were unpaid.
These items are a bit less easy to calculate. If you know that you will continue to be unable to work, you must include an estimate of the amount of income you will lose. Also, include future medical expenses such as additional surgeries or rehabilitation that you know or have been told will be future expenses.
What is considered Non-Economic or General Damages in Auto Accident Claims?
Pain and Suffering
It can be more difficult to calculate pain and suffering than the above items. Rather than estimating a number, it is important for you to make notes about the pain and suffering you experience in day to day life. Keep records of actions you are unable to do, important events you are unable to attend, physical discomfort you experience, and the way your injuries impact your day to day life.
A car accident may impact your person in more ways than just physical. Emotional distress and anxiety that stem from an accident impact your life as well. Keeping record of panic attacks, stressful situations, therapy visits, and other mental effects will help an adjuster to calculate this type of damage.
Loss of Consortium
This is not an injury that can be claimed by the directly injured party but by the spouse or partner of the injured. For example: if a man is in a truck accident and experiences brain damage, his spouse may suffer loss of companionship and deserves compensation.
The Auto Accident Multiplier
To calculate a dollar value for these special damages, an insurance adjuster will assign a multiplier between 1 and 5 based on the facts of the case. For instance, a broken leg from a minor accident is considered a minor damage that receives a multiplier of 1.5 versus a spine or brain injury that will receive a higher number of 4 or 5 based on severity.
This multiplier can be negotiated by your injury lawyers if you believe that the adjuster’s numbers do not accurately reflect the damages sustained.
The Auto Accident Formula
Once a multiplier has been agreed upon, it is multiplied by the sum of all special damages and this gives a good claim figure. This number is typically used as a starting point to discuss the car accident settlement claim.
For example: If you received a concussion from a car accident and experienced a short hospital stay that incurred $20,000 in medical bills, $15,000 in personal property damage, and you could not work for a month incurring $6,000 in lost wages, with a multiplier of 2 for minor severity the formula is as follows:
(20,000 + 15,000 + 6,000) x 2 = 82,000
$82,000 is likely the number where settlement negotiations will begin in your personal injury case.
Finding a Tucson Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have experienced injury from a car accident in Tucson Arizona or within Arizona, we strongly recommend that you consult legal advice for how to proceed with a medical settlement. Having a lawyer to trust in these matters will provide peace of mind and a much less stressful experience when seeking compensation.
Bobbi Berry with th BBerry Law Office, has over 25 years of auto injury and litigation experience and is available to help with your car accident in Arizona. Request your free consultation in person or online today to discuss your case.