Posted on: 23 August 2016
If you've been injured in a car accident, you may be extremely relieved that the at-fault driver was insured. After all, physical injuries are bad enough without having to pay those medical bills out of your own pocket or paying for your own car repair. Knowing what to expect from the insurance company and how damages are calculated is important, so read on to learn more.
The impact that the accident has on you can be summed up in one word: damages. This term encompasses several different issues, including:
- Vehicle and personal property losses. You are entitled to a repair, or replacement of your vehicle, as well as reimbursement of any personal items damaged or lost in the wreck, like child car seats, cell phones, clothing, etc.
- Medical expenses. Any and all medical care that you received as a result of the accident is covered under this umbrella. This includes things like ambulance transfer or life-flight, continuing hospitalization, physical therapy, all medications, and even mental health treatments for emotional injuries as a result of this traumatic event.
- Lost wages. You likely have missed a great deal of work because of the accident, both while recuperating and for all those medical appointments. You should not have to use your vacation or sick leave for those hours missed at work, so your compensation includes lost wages as well as the loss of potential income. Potential income can be the loss of an expected bonus or any career advancement that you were denied because of your accident.
- Permanent disability. For those with severe, crippling, and devastating injuries, a permanent injury can be compensated with a lump sum payment. Take care when negotiating this settlement, since you can likely not expect to ever attain your previous earning power again.
- Pain and suffering. The measurement for this type of damage may seem difficult, if not impossible. Insurance companies use a calculation that includes several factors to arrive at a figure for your initial offer, the most important of which is the dollar amount of your medical expenses and a prediction of future expenses. This dollar amount is multiplied by a number that is assigned to the severity of your injuries. For example, if the severity multiplier is 5 (the most severe), you can expect to be offered 5 times your medical expense amount, with your other losses added on top of that.
The initial settlement offer from the insurance is only that, an offer. Getting the services of a personal injury attorney to guide you through this process, especially the settlement negotiation process, is vital.Share