How are Expenses Calculated in a Car Accident?

If you just watched your car roll away on the back of a tow truck after a car accident, you might be worrying how much this wreck will cost. How much is your car worth? Will your insurance really pay to get it fixed? What about the bills for your broken ankle? How do they decide how much that you get? We have a complete rundown of the expenses car accident victims can be paid for in the following article.

How is the cost of fixing my car determined by the insurance company?

Insurance companies will send an adjuster to see the damage for themselves. Once the extent of the damage is determined, they use the average hourly rate for repair shops in your area and the cost of parts to create a repair estimate. If this total is more than your vehicle is worth on the market, they will decide the vehicle is totaled and pay out that option.

If my car is totaled, how much will I receive for compensation?

All insurance companies use the blue book standard to determine the value of a car. This means you would receive the equivalent of how much you could sell the car for on the current market before the accident. In many instances, this may not cover any outstanding loans or leases on the vehicle. Some insurance companies determine a car is totaled if it will cost more than 51% of its value to fix it.

Does their insurance company cover the entire ER bill?

Unlike the car repair, your medical bills will be paid in full by the insurance company without dickering on the price. If you use your own medical insurance and only have minimal co-pays for out-of-pocket expenses, their insurance will reimburse you for that cost. If you have no medical insurance, the bills will be paid by insurance as long as it does not go over the insured maximums.

The insurance payment isn’t enough. Now what do I do?

When the accident just wasn’t your fault and you have been out of work along with damages to you car, you total expenses can get out of hand. If you have additional living expenses, protracted physical therapy related to your injuries, the cost of a rental vehicle while yours gets fixed, etc. Taking that initial insurance check can be tempting, but could hold you back in the long run.

Most insurance payouts come with an acceptance form that declares you will not be asking for additional funds. Once you sign, you are not going to get any more support. You can try to argue with the insurance company, but if you want real results, contacting a personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents may be your best bet.

What if I file for damages? Is there a calculator for how much I can get?

Insurance companies do use a compensation calculator when creating offers in regards to car accident claims. While the cost of fixing the car will remain pretty stable, the extent of your injuries will significantly impact the amount on the check. Many offers are made using the multiplier method with payments offered from one to six times the cost of medical and other expenses.  Sprains, minor cuts, and bruises will not get the higher multipliers to kick in, but any type of injury accompanied by significant pain, disability, or loss of work will get the numbers to climb.

The Types of Damages Considered in a Car Accident Case

If you are found not at-fault by the police and both insurance companies, you should be fully compensated for:

  • Your deductible–no out-of-pocket expense should be overlooked
  • All medical bills including co-pays, prescriptions, supplies, equipment, and transportation.
  • The cost of having your car towed from the scene and storage fees.
  • A rental vehicle while yours is repaired.
  • The use of proper replacement parts–not cheaper versions that will fail in a year or two
  • Physical and mental therapy
  • Lost income
  • Living expenses while you are out of work
  • Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering is one of the largest variables. If you support a family, the pain and suffering endured by your children due to the loss of a parent at home while you are hospitalized can be considered. Will this injury take months, years, or decades to recover? Does it cause you discomfort every day?

If the injury causes you to lose your job due to disability, and your new career has a lower wage, lost income over your working life must be considered. If you are facing ongoing physical therapy and medical support from an injury caused by the accident–the future medical costs should be included.

It was just a fender bender. Do I need an attorney to get a fair payment?

The guy backed into you at the grocery store and you ended up with a cracked bumper cover, broken tail light, and a week of using your friend’s car to get around. In this instance, working within the confines of the insurance system will likely take care of your troubles.  It is when that accident totaled your car, sent you to the ER, you couldn’t pay rent this month, and are being offered a check that doesn’t even cover a down payment–you need help.

If you want to be sure that you are properly compensated for all of the expenses car accident victims can be paid for, take control of the situation by contacting an experienced attorney that specializes in car accident claims.


About Shahbaz Ahmed

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