What Factors Can Affect the Value in a Car Accident Claim?

September 30, 2021 | Car Accidents

Vehicle accident claims can become incredibly complicated in Indiana. Anytime a person sustains an injury in an accident caused by the actions of another driver, they should be able to recover various types of compensation. However, the total amount of compensation available in these situations will vary depending on several factors. Here, we want to discuss specific factors that can affect vehicle accident claims in Indiana. Any person who sustains a car accident injury needs to work with a skilled Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who can help them properly value their claim and secure the compensation they are entitled to.

The Severity of the Injuries

One of the main factors that affect how much compensation a person will receive after a vehicle accident occurs is the severity of their injuries. Medical bills can reach astronomical levels, particularly for catastrophic injuries.

If a vehicle accident results in only minor injuries, such as superficial lacerations, sprains or strains, or concussions, the medical bills may only reach a few thousand dollars. However, for severe injuries such as spinal cord trauma, broken or dislocated bones, traumatic brain injuries, or a combination of other types of injuries, medical bills can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

No vehicle accident claim should be settled until after injury victims reach maximum medical improvement.

Total Property Damage in the Incident

Another factor to look at when valuing a vehicle accident claim is the level of property damage. This will depend on the severity of the crash as well as the type of vehicle(s) involved. For example, 1993 Honda Civic’s property damage expenses are not going to reach the same levels as the property damage expenses for a 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum.

In some cases, an insurance carrier may determine that a vehicle is totaled, and they will pay the actual cash value for the vehicle. In other cases, in situations where the cost to repair the vehicle is less than the overall value of the vehicle, the insurance carrier will provide compensation for repairs.

Lost Wages After a Vehicle Accident

It is not uncommon for vehicle accident victims to be unable to work while they are recovering from their injuries. In these cases, it may be necessary for them to secure compensation for their lost income. The total amount of lost income will depend on how long a person is out of work as well as how much compensation it takes to replace their current salary.

The Level of Pain and Suffering

Determining pain and suffering damages is harder to do because these types of losses are more immeasurable. There are no bills or receipts that can be added up to reach a “pain and suffering” total. Typically, attorneys will use a multiplier method where they will add up all of the economic damages mentioned above and then multiply this by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to reach a pain and suffering total. 

Insurance Limits of the At-Fault Party

The insurance limits of the at-fault party have to be examined. Insurance carriers are not going to pay more than they have to, which means that the total value of a claim may only reach the maximum level of insurance that the at-fault driver has. However, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver in Indiana to recover additional compensation from the driver’s assets.