Calculating Personal Injury Settlements After Car Accidents

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Being injured due to the carelessness or negligence of someone else is not something we want to be faced with. However, if such a situation appears, the law allows us to be compensated for the injuries we suffered. Eventually, during this process, the correct settlement value has to be calculated. 

In most cases, legal assistance in proceedings before an insurance company is not necessary, but it can certainly be useful in case you want to receive compensation quickly and in full. It is very important to pay attention to legal procedures. Also, it is important to pay attention to legal deadlines and the like. During the court proceedings, we believe that legal representation through a lawyer is almost necessary since a legally ignorant party can make a number of procedural errors that can lead to the loss of the dispute.

It is highly recommended to hire personal injury attorneys at www.stoneinjurylawyers.com from Boston MA to help you with this calculation. This is because there is always a very high possibility you will miss something that should be included in the settlement you negotiate.

The advantage of hiring a lawyer when seeking damages from traffic accidents is the possession of much more legal knowledge than the agencies for collecting such damages, which often leave clients in the lurch and do not want to lead at all when they cannot collect fast money in a peaceful procedure. Court proceedings, while on the other hand, are very aggressive when acquiring clients, often harassing them by phone or even in severe cases, visiting hospitals in person, and disturbing their peace. The attorneys are highly skilled at finding out what has to be included and whatnot. And you need to take into account things like the following. 

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Document the damage

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If the traffic police did not conduct an investigation, try to document the damage – photograph the vehicles and the damage. Measure the position of the vehicle and the place of the accident and take photos from a greater and immediate distance (damage to vehicles, traces of braking and skidding, and fallen debris on the pavement …) and mark important traces with chalk if possible.

Before Starting 

Make sure to get the medical attention you need before you file the personal injury claim. The doctor can determine how injured you are and what treatment you need. If this information is not available, you simply cannot determine the case value. After determining the duration, severity, and nature of injuries, you discuss it with the attorney and you start the process. 

Special Damages Calculations

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A person who has suffered damage in a traffic accident is entitled to compensation for material and non-material damage. Material damage is damage to the vehicle, as well as other costs incurred by the injured party in connection with the accident, such as the cost of obtaining a report on the investigation. Compensation for non-pecuniary damage means monetary compensation for mental pain suffered by a person as a result of bodily injuries.

Special damages are commonly referred to as economic losses. These are damages that can be calculated with the use of money so that it is easy to determine what is lost. This includes things like medical expenses, lost earning capacity, funeral expenses, property damages, and lost wages. 

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With past economic losses, we talk about the lost wages and the past medical expenses. This should include doctor visits and the medication you had to take. With future economic losses, you have to calculate how much the injuries are going to cost you in the future. This is obviously more difficult to calculate. 

What is particularly important is to think about lost earning capacity. If the injury is serious enough that it will stop you to do your work in the future and you need a new job, the settlement has to include compensation to cover these future losses. Medical experts are often used to calculate lost earning capacity. 

General Damages

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The general damages are known as non-economic losses. These are losses that are quantified by money in a rough way. Examples of general damages include loss of consortium, humiliation, suffering, pain, embarrassment, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Based on severity, the amount awarded sums up to a multiplier of the calculated amount, usually set from 1.5 to 5. 

Adjusting Claim Values

After taking into account what was highlighted above, it is time to adjust how much you ask for the settlement based on several factors like:

  • Liability – It is easier to calculate amounts if liability is clear. 
  • Multiple Defendants – If multiple defendants exist, you have to calculate how much every single one needs to pay. 
  • Plaintiff Characteristics – Settlement value can be influenced by characteristics like occupation, age, and even likeability. 
  • Trial Location – There are places that are much more conservative in terms of settlement values than others. 
  • Mitigating Damages – This relates to what you did in order to minimize treatment necessity. As an example, when you choose not to get medical treatment, this is taken into account and the settlement needs to be lower. 
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Final thoughts

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Every driver is required by law to enter into a motor third-party liability insurance contract. The contract must be in place until the vehicle is deregistered and the registration plates are returned and handed over to the police. This is certainly one of those investments that you hope you will never need and that you will lose money, but it is certainly good to have it because you never know what life brings us.

No matter how much you think that you don’t need a lawyer and that you will be able to collect what comes next – you are wrong. Keep in mind that every insurance company will do its best to pay you minimal damage, while the lawyer will do his best to do everything in his power to get his client what he deserves. In most cases, the lawyer will demand payment only after the procedure is completed, ie when the client is paid damages. Of course, the client is obliged to tell the lawyer down to the smallest detail of the accident so that he can do the job as best he can.

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