How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

If you get into a car crash and suffer injuries, you may receive an offer from the other driver’s insurance company. It’s important to know how these car accident settlements are calculated and when you should be pursuing more compensation. If the other driver caused the crash and you have serious injuries as a result, our Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers can help you sue for the damages that you deserve.

How Does an Insurance Company Come Up With Accident Settlements?

In most cases, an insurer is going to use something called a “multiplier method” when calculating car accident settlements. This method is meant to consider the expenses stemming from the accident and a victim’s injuries, like medical bills, along with harder-to-quantify damages like pain and suffering.

First, an adjuster would look at the medical bills of the victim. Then they will multiply that by a number between one and five to determine damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment. This multiplier can go higher and lower depending on factors like the seriousness of your injuries, how much evidence there is that their insured driver caused the accident, and how long your recovery will take. Then any wages you missed out on while recovering will be counted up.

So if you had medical bills totaling $15,000 and a long, painful recovery, maybe the insurance adjuster assigns a multiplier of three. Then you show evidence that you lost $4,000 in income as well. With all of this accounted for, the adjuster calculates a settlement of $49,000.

Can Drivers Sue When Accident Settlements Are Not Enough?

Here’s a problem though. The insurance company is unlikely to offer that $49,000, even though they just calculated it themselves! This is a number that they believe you could possibly be awarded if you sued. They are almost certain to offer less than this when they reach out about a settlement.

This is when you can consider suing for damages. A lawyer from our firm can help you fight for a complete compensation offer that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and everything else.

Will I Have to Go to Trial?

Few cases like this actually go to trial. If you are nervous about going in front of a judge and jury, don’t be. Your lawyer will do their best to negotiate a fair settlement before things reach that point. If an agreement cannot be reached, your lawyer will prepare you for testimony and build a case that can succeed in court. You’re in good hands no matter what transpires.

Schedule a Consultation

If you think that an insurance company is not offering you what you deserve, you may have legal options. Contact Trombly & Singer, PLLC to schedule a consultation with our team. We’ve helped many clients fight for fair and reasonable car accident settlements, and now we’re ready to assist you in any way that we can.