You can find online calculators for nearly everything, including a car accident settlement calculator.
However, estimating the amount of money you could receive in a settlement is tricky. Using the calculator doesn’t mean you will receive that amount or anywhere close to it.
Many factors can impact the amount of your compensation that a car wreck settlement calculator cannot determine. If you want to know your potential case value, speak with a car accident lawyer at the Francis Firm today.
What Factors Influence Your Settlement Value?
One of the first steps in getting a favorable settlement is proving liability. You must show that you were not primarily at fault for the accident. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule.
You can collect a portion of your damages provided your negligence doesn’t exceed that of the other driver. For example, if you are 30% at fault, you could collect 70% of your damages. However, if you’re 51% or more at fault, you will collect nothing.
Even if you think you only have a small percentage of fault, it doesn’t mean that the insurance company will agree. The other driver’s insurance adjuster wants to place as much blame on you as possible so they can reduce or eliminate their payout.
Other important factors that impact your case include the type and the severity of your injuries. Someone who has a soft tissue back injury that resolves in several weeks will have a different case value than someone who requires back surgery and suffers ongoing pain.
How to Calculate Your Case Value
To calculate your case value, start by looking at your overall economic damages. Your economic damages are your quantifiable damages that can be calculated using receipts, invoices, and other tangible evidence of value.
Medical expenses can make up a large portion of your potential settlement value. They include emergency treatments, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, medical devices, and more.
If your injuries are severe enough to require future treatment or additional surgeries, those should also be factored into your medical expenses total.
Did the accident prevent you from working at all? Or perhaps you can work, but you need to miss time from work to attend physical therapy or doctors’ appointments, etc.
If your injuries are severe enough that you cannot return to work, or you need to change jobs to accommodate your new limitations, then you could be entitled to compensation for future lost earnings or decreased earning capacity.
If you are permanently disabled, your attorney can help you determine how much you would’ve earned over your working life had you not been injured in the accident. An accident settlement calculator can’t accurately calculate complex amounts such as loss of earning capacity.
Any physical damage to your vehicle also falls under economic damages. If the repair shop determines they can fix your vehicle, your property damage is the amount of the repair.
If your vehicle is totaled, your property damage amount is the total loss value or replacement value of your car. If you had any other property damaged in the accident, it would also be calculated here.
The other portion of your settlement is largely based on your non-economic damages, which are harder to calculate as there are no corresponding financial losses.
Non-economic damages are more subjective, which is why you can have differing opinions on value. Insurance companies will almost certainly lowball your non-economic injuries in an attempt to lessen the amount of money they must pay you.
Compensation for pain and suffering falls under non-economic damages. Some insurance adjusters use the multiplier method to establish an amount for pain and suffering.
The range is usually a multiplier between one and five. The more severe and long-lasting your injuries are, the higher the multiplier. They might use a multiplier of one or two for minor injuries, while more catastrophic injuries might be a five.
In special cases, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages as well. These damages are reserved for cases involving intentional or reckless behavior.
Courts award these damages to “punish” the defendant in hopes they will not repeat the same behavior again. This amount is on top of any damages you would generally be entitled to in a car accident case.
Are Auto Accident Settlement Calculators Accurate?
An online car accident injury settlement calculator is not likely very accurate. Online calculators for loans and mortgages work because they rely on fixed data. You know how much you want to borrow for a loan and the potential percentage rate.
With a mortgage, you know how much the house costs, your down payment, and the potential interest rate. With car accidents, many variables are not fixed amounts. That makes the value of your claim significantly harder to calculate.
For instance, you may not accurately anticipate your own damages because you neglect to include your future medical treatment, or you wrongly estimate your ability to go back to work.
Also, you might apply an incorrect multiplier for your pain and suffering. Insurance adjusters and attorneys are far more systematic and accurate in their calculations for non-economic damages.
A car crash settlement calculator also doesn’t know what coverage may apply to your case. The calculator may say your case is worth $100,000, but there is only $50,000 in liability coverage available.
There is no way for a calculator to gauge the strength of your case, liability arguments, the severity of your injuries, etc. To accurately estimate your potential settlement value, you really need to speak with an experienced Texas car accident lawyer.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
When you retain a lawyer to represent you, your Injury attorney looks at all the variables that impact your case.
When determining your potential case value, we look at the severity of your injuries, what your damages are, ongoing treatment requirements, the permanent effects of your injuries, and what impact they have on your daily life. An online auto accident payout calculator won’t do that.
Attorney Michael Francis has more than two decades of litigation experience in Texas, fighting against major insurance companies and corporations.
He is board-certified in personal injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has secured settlements and verdicts in excess of $20,000,000.
Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your Texas auto accident.