The very first step you need to take when you negotiate car accident settlements is to calculate the worth of the claim. This basically means how much money you should be offered. Injury attorneys and insurance companies use formulas to have a starting point for the negotiations. You most likely have no idea about that. The truth is that the best thing you can do is to remember the following advice.
Confirm Everything With Attorneys
Determining the correct settlement amount in personal injury cases is not as simple as you might think. Lawyers for car accidents use their formulas to determine the starting point of the calculation. Then, the outcome is determined by several other factors. Never try to negotiate with insurance companies without the help of experienced attorneys.
Multipliers And Damages
There are basically two categories of damages that appear in car accident claims:
- Special Damages – These are very easy to quantify and include things like the income you lose when you miss work, medical treatment costs, and all your out-of-pocket expenses.
- General Damages – These are much more difficult to quantify because they include things like mental anxiety, physical discomfort, stress, and all the other negative effects of your injuries.
Insurance adjusters are going to easily determine special damages. This is because they can use documents like medical bills to calculate how much the compensation should add up to. However, when dealing with general damages, the attorneys and insurance adjusters use the multiplier, which practically multiplies special damages by a specific number. Based on the extent of the general damages, the number is a maximum of 5 and a minimum of 1.5.
Some things that influence the multiplier are:
- The extent of the injuries
- The medical treatment that was received
- The medical treatment that will be needed
- Whether or not a full recovery is possible
- Effects that would be long-lasting or even permanent
- The daily life impact of the injuries and the accident
Many others can be mentioned and will be calculated.
Obviously, the multiplier used to figure out how much compensation you should receive will be contested. The plaintiff wants a really high multiplier and the defendant is looking for a low multiplier.
Adjusting The Settlement Based On Plaintiff Fault Levels
The initial settlement you had in mind will most likely have to be adjusted in the event that it is proven that your negligence did contribute to the outcome of the car accident. Based on the US state where the accident happened, the settlement of the jury will have to be reduced. This is done based on the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault.
Protecting your best interests is all about hiring experienced car accident attorneys capable of negotiating fair settlements. Doing this alone is almost impossible because of your lack of knowledge about the law and the several steps that are taken in the personal injury claims procedure. Fortunately for you, the attorney knows everything and is highly capable of getting you more money to cover all the damages you suffered.