Being in in a car accident can be a major disruption for everyone involved, especially if there are measurable or serious damages that people suffer as a result. In cases where the accident was caused by someone as a result of their negligence, recklessness, aggressive driving, or otherwise puts them at fault, then it will be their insurance company that is responsible for compensating the victims. If you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused, then you should not need to worry about the financial impacts that your injuries and medical attention will have, nor should you go uncompensated for the pain and suffering that you will inevitably endure.
Contact 1-800-Injured to be connected with a car accident attorney in Port St. Lucie as soon as possible. As you watch the medical bills increase, you continue to miss work because of your injuries, and you feel the stress mounting as you wonder how you will navigate this complicated period of your life, we will help you meet the right lawyer for your case. Once you are working with an attorney, you can focus on the important things in life like your recovery and getting your life back on track.
Read more below about some general information regarding car accident claims processes and lawsuits, and contact us as soon as possible for a free initial consultation.
Handling Insurance Claims After a Car Accident
After you have left the scene of the accident, your immediate medical needs have been addressed, and you are able to start thinking about what happens next, you will need to contact the insurance company to initiate a claim. Once they are made aware that there is a claim against their client, they will assign an insurance professional known as a claims adjuster to your case, who will investigate the situation and ultimately determine how much money the insurance company is willing to offer you for your situation. The problem is that the amount the insurance company is willing to give you is never the amount that you actually deserve.
One of the most important things to remember while you are working with the claims adjuster is that an insurance company does not exist to give you all of the money that you deserve. In fact, their goal is to give you the minimum amount of money that will avoid any future legal issues for them or their clients for this particular accident. Knowing this, you can work with an attorney who will handle negotiations in order to hopefully reach an agreement that better suits your needs. If you are unable to reach an agreement during negotiations, then it will be up to your attorney to pursue the full amount through the Florida courts.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you should NEVER accept an offer from an insurance company if an attorney hasn’t reviewed your situation and approved it. Experienced personal injury attornies work with medical professionals who can give them a better idea of the long-term impacts of your injuries, including expenses and impacts to your earning abilities, that will inform the actual amount that you deserve. Once you waive your rights and accept the offer from the insurance company, any additional impacts on your life will go unaddressed.
Calculating Damages After a Car Accident
There are a variety of methods that a lawyer will use in order to determine how much you are actually owed. When you are working directly with the insurance company, the offer that they make you will very likely not include a significant amount of these damages since it is in their best interests to pay as little as possible. Compensatory damages are divided into two different types, and since punitive damages are awarded by a jury and have nothing to do with your actual claim, they will never be included or speculated on when calculating the money you are requesting.
Economic damages make up the basis of your damages because they are the most calculable and tangible. They seek compensation for your medical bills, including things like ambulances, surgeries or procedures, and other medical services, but they also cover things like co-payments, prescription costs, assistive devices, and other similar costs. In addition, they seek compensation for any services that you were required to pay for that you would normally be able to perform yourself if you were not injured.
Separate from your medical costs are your lost or reduced wages. If you have to miss any work as a result of your injuries, even if you use sick leave of paid time off, then this time missed will be included in the calculations. If you are still unable to return to work, or if you have suffered from a debilitating injury that impacts your long-term earning capacity, these issues will be factored in as well. In some cases, a lawsuit might include the cost of services or re-education to help you find a new job if you are unable to return to your former career as a result of your injuries.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate and quantify and are typically the damages that an insurance company will push back on more aggressively. They include the actual pain and suffering that you had to endure, as well as the emotions that you will deal with like depression or anxiety. Although they are less clear to determine, it does not mean that they are any less important. In fact, these damages are just as real as the economic damages you are suffering, the only difference being that they don’t have measurable dollar values appended to them.
One common way that an attorney will determine the dollar amount of non-economic damages is by using a “multiplier,” which is a number along a scale intended to show the severity of these damages. Once they have decided on a reasonable multiplier, it is then applied to the economic damages in order to translate these non-economic damages into measurable compensation. There are a variety of other methods that an attorney may use in order to determine these damages as well, and you can be sure that your lawyer will choose the most effective and understandable method to maximize your damages.