Involved in an accident? You may have the right to recover damages (e.g., income loss, damaged personal property, compensation for pain). Damages are real legal issues. If your legal rights are on the line and you are considering using an online accident settlement calculator to value a potential settlement, you should understand the factors that these calculators use to compute settlement amounts. How do these online programs stack up against the professionals? Read below to find out.
Factors that a Personal Injury Settlement Calculator considers:
- Property damage amount
- Medical bills amount
- Loss of income
Here are several examples of common issues in personal injury cases that the calculator cannot compute:
(A) The calculators use the medical bills and the property damage to determine the pain and suffering value. It's an overly simplistic evaluation formula. For example, if you were a passenger in a car that was in a crash and the car belonged to the driver, you wouldn't have sustained property damage. But, the driver would have. If you and the driver sustained identical injuries, the calculator would suggest the driver suffered greater pain and suffering, simply because the driver had a value to input in the property damage field and you didn't.
For injured passengers, the calculator doesn't work.
(B) Some people don't have private health insurance to pay for their accident-related medical charges. Thus, CA law entitles them to recover the full amount of their medical bills as economic damages in a personal injury claim. For accident victims who are covered by private health insurance, CA law limits economic recovery of medical bills to the amounts paid by their insurance provider. The calculator doesn't know this very important law.
(C) Two car accident victims that were in identical accidents, with identical injuries, identical wage loss, and sustained identical vehicle damage; one victim was driving a Bentley and the other was driving a Honda. Obviously, the Bentley is more expensive to repair. How does this disparity in property damage affect the demand for compensation? The calculator will automatically suggest that the driver of the more expensive vehicle suffered more.
Some of the Factors that a Personal Injury Attorney Considers:
What kind of accident?
How did the accident happen?
When did the accident happen?
What is the applicable statute of limitations?
If in a vehicle accident, is the driver or passenger making the claim?
If in a vehicle accident, does California Proposition 213 apply to the facts?
Who is objectively at fault for the accident?
How does comparative fault factor in the case?
How difficult will it be to prove liability?
How many witnesses saw the accident?
Who are the witnesses?
Did a police or incident report get generated?
What were the factors which contributed to the accident?
What injuries were sustained?
Who made the diagnoses?
What medication was prescribed?
How long was the medication used for?
What type of health insurance did the accident victim have?
How much did health insurance pay for the victim's medical treatment?
What was the amount of medical payment coverage (if applicable)?
What did the victim do to mitigate their damages?
Why was the medical treatment reasonable?
What did the victim do to follow their doctors' instructions?
How long did the injuries last?
What were the pre-existing injuries (if any)?
When was the last treatment for the pre-existing health condition?
How long was the gap in treatment between the last treatment date for prior injuries and onset of new injury?
To what extent did the accident aggravate prior health conditions?
How many prior accidents?
What were the injuries from the prior accidents?
What kind(s) of future medical care will be necessary?
What kind of property damage was sustained?
How much was the damage to property?
How was the property damage figure computed?
What does the victim do for a living?
How much income was lost?
How much income will be lost?
What is the proof to support loss of income (past, present, future)?
How did the victim suffer?
How has the victim been inconvenienced from their accident-related injuries?
What has the accident ordeal been like to go through?
How has the accident changed the way the victim can engage in and enjoy their favorite activities?
What is the feasibility of going to trial?
A Personal Injury Lawyer Knows How to Value a Personal Injury Case
Your rights are important. Get an advocate that will help you through the difficult period following an accident. Contact an experienced san fernando valley personal injury attorney to discuss your facts. You can CALL me at Jacob Regar Law to get a FREE consultation. (818) 588-0653
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