After being in a car accident, you can probably expect to get contacted by an insurance provider, either your own or that of the liable party, relatively soon. If they do not think 100% of the accountability falls on your shoulders, they are going to offer you a settlement amount. But the first question you need to ask will be, “Is this a fair amount?”
If history is any indication of what has yet to come, any initial settlement you are offered from an insurance company will be lowballed. They want to save themselves, and possibly their own customer, money by giving you the bare minimum they can offer without getting in legal trouble. It is unlikely that this value will reflect the true value of your car accident claim.
Bills, Receipts, and Your MMI
Determining the actual value of your car accident claim, and therefore how much you should ask for in return from the liable party’s insurance company, is a straightforward and simultaneously complicated process. It can be simple in terms of vehicular damage. An honest auto body repair shop should be able to get you an accurate estimate fairly quickly and put it on paper as a dollar amount. Easy, right? But that is just one part of many.
If you have been physically injured as a result of the car accident, you will need to know the cost of your own recovery, which is far easier said than done. There is a term in the world of medicine and personal injury litigation known as maximum medical improvement, or MMI. Your MMI is how much your body can heal with the assistance of medicine and technology from a particular injury, whether that be met within a few months, such as from a broken arm, or a several years, such as from spinal cord damage. Only after you have met your MMI will you be able to take a complete and accurate look at all of your medical bills and know just how much your car accident has cost you.
There is also the concern of your emotional and financial wellbeing. If your injuries have taken you off your feet and left you bedridden, you have undoubtedly lost money you could have been earning at work since workers’ compensation benefits will generally give you 80% or less of your average earnings. The feeling of being helpless and the chronic pain of your injuries are also quite damaging but not in a way that can just be tracked on a spreadsheet. You should be financially compensated for those damages as well but how do you know their value? How can you add that on to your car accident claim?
Professional Help When Evaluating Your Damages
Your car accident claim might not be comprehensive enough to include all of the damages it has caused you. The solution may then be found in a personal injury case filed against the negligent driver. Using this approach, you can sue for total damages, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, your lost wages, and nominal damages to account for your distress. You only have two years to take action, however, so delaying too long could prevent you from filing a case at all.
With the help of our Corpus Christi car accident attorneys from Brunkenhoefer, P.C., you can file a case confidently, knowing that you are well-represented and that the amount you are pursuing has taken all of your losses into consideration. If you have not yet reached your maximum medical improvement but the statute of limitations is fast approaching, we can work together with doctors and physicians and compare your injuries to other cases to determine how much compensation you will require in the future. Contact us today to begin your case – initial evaluations are free.