How Insurers Calculate Car Accident Compensation Claim
You happen to be in a car wreck. You then call the car accident compensation claim and, a couple of days later, you receive a settlement letter from the insurance company. Unfortunately, the amount stated in the said letter is far less than what you initially expected, not to mention it does not go near the money needed for a replacement vehicle. “How can this be?” You asked. When it comes to calculating car accident compensation payouts, the entire insurance industry does not follow a certain mathematical formula. Why? It is simply because each case is different from another. Interestingly, insurers use a number of factors in determining the amount of compensation they are willing to pay on a claim. These factors include, but not limited to, the severity of property damage, personal injury, and the policy limits that are deemed applicable.
Car Accident Compensation Payouts for Damaged Vehicles
Say, your claim only involves damage to your vehicle. Your car accident compensation claim is expected to cover only the cost of repairs and/or replacement of any damaged item. For example, your bumper is the only thing in your car that gets damaged following an accident. The insurance company can be expected to settle only for the bumper, though it will have reasonable cost enough to cover the entire expense for repairs or replacement. Nonetheless, there is an exception to this general rule, and this is applied when the replacement or repair cost goes beyond the overall value of the vehicle. In this situation, the insurance company may decide to deem the vehicle a “total loss” but will pay you for the loss. Unfortunately, the replacement cost is sometimes based on depreciation value instead of the current cost of a brand new vehicle. Meaning, the amount you are entitled to might not be enough to help you purchase a replacement vehicle.
Factors Used for Injury Compensation
Injuries in auto accidents are a very common thing, and they happen from time to time; hence, most insurance companies keep their policies up to date. If you get injured following a car accident, the injury – regardless of what it might be – will not be consolidated with your property damage as both are negotiated separately. For instance, you got your bone fractured. The insurance company will provide you with additional settlement compensation, which is something different as compared to an accident where no injury took place. The car accident compensation payouts you receive from the company will be determined by various factors, such as documented wage loss, nature and extent of injuries, and total medical bills. But in order for these to be considered acceptable, they should appear in your medical reports. The latter will then serve as a strong medium in influencing the amount of compensation you will be entitled to.
Car Accident Compensation Claim for Pain and Suffering
By essence, pain and suffering is an amount that is added on top of your medical bills and is used to compensate you for the past – and even the future – discomfort which resulted from an injury. But for this to be highly considered by the insurance company, you have to undergo and complete a medical treatment as per a doctor’s instructions. Also, the attending doctor or physician will have to declare you “permanent and stationary” before you can even submit a personal injury claim to the insurance company. In case you did not know, “permanent and stationary” refers to reaching a point in a certain treatment where further improvement is no longer a concern nor should be anticipated.
But what if your doctor anticipates further treatment in the future? Well, this is where your settlement will include an estimate that will cover the upcoming medical treatment. There are also factors that heavily influence the amount here. For example, you acquired a scar due to the accident. This directly falls to permanent disfiguration, and thus becomes added compensation. A general rule of thumb here is that the more serious an injury is the higher settlement compensation will be. Apparently, the same thing happens when you have residual problems. An epitome is a pain that you get after completing medical treatment. This, in particular, will also warrant you for additional compensation. It is worth noting that before accepting any form of settlement offer, it is always best to consult with an attorney who specializes in car accident compensation claim. That way, you can prevent the possibility of waiving your settlement options for future medical care.
Furthermore, it is important to note that you get to receive one settlement or award from the insurance company. Hence, either submitting or settling your car accident compensation claim right before all needed treatment is completed automatically waives your right to any added or future compensation. And once you agree to a settlement, you can no longer go back to the insurance company to request for more money.