How much is my car accident case worth?
Determining the value of a car accident claim may be more complicated than you think
31 Mar 22
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, especially a serious one, money will initially be one of your least concerns. Dealing with injuries and arranging to repair your vehicle will usually take priority.
There are also other practical concerns that usually take priority. For example, you may need to call your boss or arrange to have someone else pick up the kids from school while you go to the hospital.
However, after the initial panic wears off, you may find yourself focused on the ongoing issues that inevitably arise. If you were injured in the accident, you may be surprised when large bills from hospitals, health care providers and ambulance services begin to arrive in the mail.
In addition, you may have needed to take several weeks off of work to recover and are feeling the effects of that lost income. Extreme injuries, like brain and spinal cord injuries, might mean a complete change in profession or a permanent inability to work.
There’s also the cost to repair your vehicle or buy an entirely new vehicle if the insurance company declares yours a total loss. As all of these issues begin to arise you may find yourself asking “how do you know what your car crash claim is really worth?”
Bills are an excellent starting point
Invoices and bills will start piling up right after a crash.
From the ambulance ride to the hospital to the tow truck that took your totaled vehicle to the junkyard, there will be major expenses associated with every service you require. Those bills are a good way to keep track of the costs you have incurred so far because of the crash.
It is a good idea to keep records of these costs, even the ones that were paid by your insurance company.
Look at the income consequences, too
If you suffered a severe injury, your current medical bills and vehicle repair costs won’t be your only expenses.
If you were unable to work because of your injuries, that loss in income factors in as well.
In some cases, you may be unable to work again or may need to move into a new profession with lower income and fewer employment benefits. Figuring out what wages you have lost is crucial for those with lasting medical consequences from a car crash.
Think about future expenses before you agree to a settlement
One of the sneaky ways that car insurance companies limit their financial responsibility is by offering people settlements that are less than what that person needs and less than what the policy could pay. Aggressive negotiation is often necessary when dealing with an insurance company offering a settlement.
Having a realistic idea of what a car crash will cost you will put you in a good place to initiate negotiations.