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Putting a price tag on pain: How much is your car accident worth?

It’s natural to have questions about the compensation you may expect to receive after a car accident caused by a negligent driver. However, figuring out the value of a car accident claim at first glance is hard since many variables may come into play.

That being said, some general guidelines can help you understand how things are likely to work when it comes time to calculate the potential settlement of your car accident claim. Here is what you need to know:

Your damages will heavily factor into the value of your claim

Compensation after a car accident is supposed to make you financially “whole” again and help you cope with the aftermath of the crash. Therefore, the severity of your injuries and their impact on your everyday life will heavily weigh in the final figure.

Compensatory damages can either be economic or non-economic. Economic damages are the tangible, real losses you can prove with bills, receipts or other documents. They may include things like:

  • Current and future medical expenses (ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, physical therapy and other healthcare-related costs)
  • Lost income and any reduced future earning capacity as a result of limitations from your injuries
  • Property damage to your vehicle and personal items that may have been destroyed in the wreck, such as phones, laptops and cameras
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident, including personal services you had to hire or transportation to and from medical appointments

On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible losses that you cannot easily quantify with a dollar amount. The emotional anguish, pain and suffering you endured, plus any disfigurement, loss of consortium and diminished quality of life are common examples of such damages.

Punitive damages, meant to punish and deter reckless or malicious conduct, can also be awarded in some instances – although these are very rare. They’re designed solely to punish and deter copycats.

Every case is unique

There is no predetermined or fixed formula for calculating the value of a car accident claim. Instead, the specific circumstances of your case will significantly impact the final settlement or compensation amount. 

Seeking informed legal guidance after a car crash can help identify and assess the damages you are entitled to receive, and make sure the process is fair.