If you have been involved in a car accident you may be hoping to get some compensation, however, the value of your claim will depend on how damaged your car was and the strength of your claim.
The Strength of your Claim
You may not be able to recover any damages until liability exists unless of course, you are in a no-fault state. You will have to show that the at-fault driver has been negligent, and you will need to prove that:
- The other driver did not see you when they should have seen you
- They were driving behind you a little too closely
- The other driver took an unsafe turn
- The other driver was driving too fast for the weather (Rain or snow, poor visibility)
- The other driver was texting or talking on their cell phone while driving
- The other driver was disobeying traffic signs or signals
Most car accidents are rear-enders which involve the driver behind you, and they were not paying enough attention while failing to maintain a safe distance.
If you were Both Negligent
If you and the other driver were negligent you may not win your claim, or your settlement may be reduced.
The Extent of the Damage to your Vehicle
If you can claim liability you may wish to find out how much settlement you are entitled to. Three frequently used forms of working out how much your accident settlement is worth are:
There are three commonly used methods of determining accident settlement value in routine car accident cases:
- Colossus software system
- Multiple of specials
- Per diem
Let’s take a look at these more closely:
Many insurance companies use the Colossus software system to help them work out the value of your claim. Even if your insurance company does not use Colossus they will use some sort of valuation software. If you can work out how this software works you may have a better chance of discussing a settlement with the claims adjuster.
Multiple of Specials
Using multiple of specials, the insurance company will determine how much your accident settlement is worth. To do this they will have to add the cost of your medical bills, any lost income, and any pain and suffering you have experienced.
Please read our article ‘What is Pain and Suffering?’ for more information.
The insurance company you’re working with are likely to challenge your medical bills and how much money you lost through not being able to work. Please read our article ‘Talking to an insurance adjuster for the First Time’ for more information.
The insurance company may suggest that some of your treatment was not needed, or that the cost of the bills is too high. It is not unusual for this to occur, however, these claims are usually quite weak. If you only missed the period of work that your doctors said you should miss and the medical treatment you received was undertaken by your doctors, you may recover all of your lost income and your medical bills.
If you live in a no-fault state you are probably already aware that the above methods of working out your compensation do not apply. This is because your state will not compensate for any pain and suffering that you had to deal with as a result of the car accident.
If you are currently suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘The Basics of Car Accident Settlement Formulas’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.