Car accidents can result in a wide variety of serious injuries. Determining the value of car accident settlement payouts can be complicated. Without the proper information, you can’t accurately determine the value using a free car accident settlement calculator you find online. Many factors impact your case value, so you should have a skilled California car accident lawyer representing you. Contact The Paris Firm today if you sustained injuries in a car accident due to another party’s negligence.
We have nearly three decades of experience assisting injured accident victims in California. We understand what a stressful time this is for you and your family. You should be concentrating on healing from your injuries, not fighting with a claims adjuster over how much your case is worth. Let us be the legal advocate you need so you can focus on your recovery.
Why a Calculator for a Car Accident Settlement Is Not Accurate
It’s tempting to use an online car accident settlement calculator to see what your case is worth. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on whatever figure you get as an accurate value. Every case is different and unique, and even claims with similar circumstances could resolve for entirely different amounts.
The best way to determine your potential case value is to hire an experienced California car accident attorney at The Paris Firm. When you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer, we will help you understand what makes up your potential car accident settlement value. Your lawyer will also explain the strengths and weaknesses of your case, explaining what could increase or decrease your potential settlement value.
Types of Damages in a California Car Accident Claim
In most car accidents, your potential settlement consists of two main types of damages. The first is economic damages, which are your tangible financial losses. These are items such as:
- Medical expenses,
- Physical therapy,
- Ambulance transport,
- Chiropractic treatment,
- CT scans,
- Property damage, and
- Lost wages.
Your noneconomic damages are more subjective and harder to calculate. Noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of companionship.
Punitive damages might also be available in rare situations. Courts award punitive damages to punish a defendant and deter them from engaging in similar misconduct in the future. A defendant who acted very recklessly or egregiously, such as a drunk driver, might have a punitive damages award against them.
Factors That Impact Car Accident Settlement Payouts
Before plugging numbers into a California car accident settlement calculator, you need to understand what factors impact your potential settlement value.
Injury Type and Severity
The type and severity of your injuries will have a significant impact on your potential case value. The more severe your injuries are, the more your case could be worth. Someone with minor soft tissue injuries typically has a lower case value than a victim with a fractured arm.
Even two similar injuries could have a different value if one person’s injury was more severe. Consider two victims who each have a herniated disc in their back. One person’s back injury heals with physical therapy and some chiropractic modalities, while the other person’s herniated disc pinches a nerve and requires surgical intervention. The second victim’s compensation would likely be higher.
Liability is a significant factor in car accident settlement payouts. California allows victims to recover compensation in a car accident, even if they are primarily at fault. California’s negligence law says that you can collect money as long as you are not 100% at fault. However, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So if you are 20% at fault, you will receive 80% of your damages.
When you factor in shared liability, you can easily have two similar injury cases resolved for vastly different amounts. Consider two victims with the same injuries who have $100,000 each in damages. If one victim is 60% at fault, they will receive $40,000. If the other victim were 10% at fault, they would receive $90,000.
The insurance adjuster is looking out for their insured and the insurance company with the primary goal of reducing any claims payout. Therefore, they will try to cast as much blame on you as possible. That’s why you need a strong legal advocate looking out for your interests.
However, these are all variables that a car accident settlement calculator won’t factor into its results.
Your total damages also impact your case value. Some adjusters calculate your pain and suffering damages as a multiplier of your other damages. Usually, the multiplier ranges between one and five. So if you have $200,000 in damages for a catastrophic injury, the potential settlement value could be as high as $1,000,000 when using the highest multiplier of five.
Available Liability Insurance Coverage
Another factor that a California car accident settlement calculator doesn’t necessarily anticipate is the amount of available liability coverage. You could have a case worth $500,000, but the available insurance limits are only $50,000. To recover anything beyond the $50,000, you would need to sue the driver directly or find a third party that also shares some responsibility for your injuries.
Contact The Paris Firm Today
Rather than rely on a potentially inaccurate calculator for a car accident settlement, let us put our nearly 30 years of California personal injury expertise to work for you. We will review the facts of your case and give you a valid estimate of what your case is worth. Our top priority is to help you fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Remember, meeting with us won’t cost you anything. We offer a free initial consultation. If we accept your case, you won’t pay any legal fees upfront. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.