Calculating the Value of Your Claim After a Car Crash

One of the first questions that you may ask after deciding to file a car crash claim is: how much is my claim worth?

Since insurance adjusters and motor vehicle accident attorneys have different ways of calculating the value of a claim, it is only possible to roughly estimate damages. Here are some of the different methods both insurance companies and attorneys use to calculate the value of a car accident claim.

Vehicle Damage

When determining the value of damages to a vehicle, insurance companies and attorneys usually evaluate the condition of your vehicle at the time of the accident, the market value of the vehicle, the mileage on the vehicle, and the depreciation of the vehicle’s market value. They may also consider the costs to repair specific parts of the vehicle. This aspect of the claim tends to be straightforward.

Personal Injury Damages

If a car crash results in an injury, your attorney may choose to pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance company for any of the following damages:

  • Lost wages,
  • Medical bills or treatment costs,
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement, and
  • Pain and suffering.

The most common methods for calculating these damages are the multiplier method and the per diem method.

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method takes the total value of special damages (i.e. medical bills and lost wages) and multiplies it by a number to determine the value of pain and suffering. So, for example, if you have $18,000 in medical bills and $2,000 in lost wages, your attorney multiplies $20,000 by a number between one and five. In this example, we will use three, which would put the value of the victim’s pain and suffering at $60,000.

Per Diem Method

The per diem method calculates pain and suffering by determining a daily rate. For example, your attorney may determine that you deserve $20 per day as compensation for pain and suffering.

This only covers the basics of calculating a car accident claim. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, search our directory for an experienced personal injury attorney near you.