The value of an auto accident claim is never an arbitrary number; it’s based on specific calculations that take into account the extent to which you were injured. To determine the value of a car crash claim, injury may include damage to your personal property, medical bills, lost wages and potentially any long-term effects of the crash. Properly documenting these injuries is the key to getting the right valuation and the settlement you deserve for your auto accident claim.
Property Damage Value
Property damage is typically the easiest part of the valuation of an auto accident claim. Most of the time, you’ll take your car to a designated inspector who will determine how much damage was done, and how much it will cost to repair your car. That’s the property damage value. In some cases, if you were carrying valuable property in your car that got damaged, you can also add the cost of replacing or repairing that property. For example, if you had a laptop that got ruined in the car with you, you might be able to claim the cost of replacing the laptop.
Medical bills are extremely important to document as part of assigning value to an auto accident claim. In many cases, the largest portion of the value of an auto accident claim is based on repaying medical bills incurred as a result of the accident. For example, if you incurred $25,000 in medical bills and the damage to personal property was valued at $5,000, you have a minimum of $30,000 in damages - the medical portion making up the majority of the cost.
It may be advised to finish medical treatment before settling an auto accident claim so that you have a hard number for the cost of the medical bills. You can settle based on an estimate, but if the medical bills go beyond the estimate, you have no avenue for recovering those additional costs.
The purpose of auto accident claims under the legal system is to restore you to the state you were in prior to the accident. This sometimes means you incur additional injuries that must be compensated. For example, if you have to use vacation time or sick time as a result of the accident, you may be eligible to recoup lost wages. Other injuries may also include long-term disability or vocational retraining costs if you’re no longer able to do your job.