How Can I Find Out How Much My Car Accident Claim Is Worth?
You can determine the true value of your car accident claim by hiring a lawyer who handles car accidents. A lawyer can assess your claim by:
- Collecting documentary evidence
- Speaking with experts, witnesses, and involved parties
- Applying legal formulas to your case
Determining Financial Losses in a Car Accident Claim
Any money you lost or expect to lose because of your accident is called “economic damages.” This term includes such losses as:
- Medical bills
- Travel expenses related to medical care
- Car repair or replacement
- Decrease in your car’s value
- Loss of income and job benefits
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of employment or employment opportunities
To calculate such damages, an attorney can look at documents you own, such as bills or tax filings. They can also interview you about your losses or consult an expert, such as an economist, about the financial impact the crash has had (and will have) on your life.
Your fort lauderdale car accident lawyer will include both past and future losses. For instance, if you have already received medical care but need follow-up treatments a year from now, you will want to be sure you recover the likely cost of the upcoming treatments as well as the completed ones.
Determining Intangible Losses in a Car Accident Claim
If you intend to sue the party who caused your accident, you will want to take non-economic damages—that is, your physical and mental wounds—into consideration. These include:
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Mental Illness and trauma
- Disability (whether temporary or permanent)
- Scar tissue and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Non-economic damages are an important component of your car accident claim value, but they are often harder to quantify than economic damages. Instead of relying on paperwork, your attorney might turn to personal testimony and legal formulas to figure out what your injuries are worth.
Again, like with economic damages, your miami car accident lawyer will estimate the cost of future suffering in addition to past and present suffering.
Recovering Compensation After a Car Accident
You might have two options for receiving a financial settlement. The first is to file a claim with your insurance company. Car insurance laws vary by state, so the amount you can recover—and the circumstances under which you can recover it—may change based on where you live.
As an example, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), you:
- Must purchase a $10,000 policy (or more) to cover personal injuries (PIP)
- Can collect on your PIP policy regardless of who caused the accident
- Can use your PIP policy to help you pay medical expenses
If someone else’s negligence caused your accident and you suffered severe injuries that meet a certain threshold, you can exercise your second option for recovering compensation: filing a lawsuit against the liable party. Unlike PIP, which generally covers only medical bills, a lawsuit could enable you to recover compensation for non-economic damages as well.
With assistance from a law firm, you can determine the true value of your car accident claim and pursue that amount from the liable party. This process may involve:
- Calculating your case’s total worth
- Sending a demand letter asking the liable party to pay what you are asking for
- Negotiating with the insurance company’s representatives
- Taking your case to court
- Preparing and submitting all necessary paperwork
The Importance of Car Accident Claim Valuation
Why bother hiring a fort myers car accident lawyer to evaluate your case? It is the insurance company’s job to determine an accident’s value, so why not just let them do so?
While insurance companies will certainly take an interest in evaluating your case, they may not have your interests in mind. Instead, they might look for a way to downplay your losses so their employer does not have to pay you as much.
For this reason, it is a good idea to have an attorney assess your car accident’s value. This way, you:
- Can be completely confident of your case’s value
- Will know immediately if an insurance company tries to undervalue your case
- Do not have to worry about missing or forgetting to ask for something that you qualify for
It is also important to move quickly when you hire an attorney and take legal action. Each state has a deadline, called a statute of limitations, by which you can file a lawsuit. This time period is usually not long: in Florida, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11, it is just two years.
Even if you decide to take your case no further than filing a claim with your insurer, you want to get things done while evidence is still available and memories are fresh.
We Can Assess Your Car Accident Claim’s True Value
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help you determine the true value of your car accident claim—and then we can fight for the settlement you deserve. Call (954) 633-8270 today to get started with a free case review. We will charge you no attorney’s fees until we have recovered compensation for you.