Calculating Damages for a Car Accident in Dallas
- April 29, 2015
- Car Accidents
The insurance company’s calculation of damages after a car accident in Dallas may end up being very different than you may expect. Insurance companies consider a variety of factors when determining how much money to pay for a car accident. There is no precise way to do this because each accident and each individual will be slightly different. They will generally consider the same basic factors in every case: damage to the vehicle, personal injuries, the insurance policy and the policy limits, and any pain and suffering endured in or after the accident. The insurance policy will tell you what the company will and will not cover. Read it carefully to determine your rights. If you think your insurance company should be paying more, then talk to an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
Damage to the Vehicle
This factor is probably the easiest to determine because cars generally have a definite value. Once the car is at the body shop, they can estimate what it will cost to fix or let you know if the vehicle is totaled. Then, finding a similar replacement vehicle and determining its cost is fairly straight forward as well. However, when insurance companies replace a vehicle, it is based on the value of the car at the time of the accident, without regard to how much a replacement vehicle will cost. Once the repairs exceed the value of the car, then the car is considered a “total loss,” and you will usually have to pay for the loss of the vehicle (perhaps with the replacement value substituted).
Injuries from the Accident
Injuries from the accident are separate from the property damage because they are so much more difficult to quantify. Usually the insurance company will consider any medical expenses you may have had, documented wages losses (where you had to miss work to recover from your injury), and the extent of your injury based on medical records.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
Compared to pain and suffering, the injury compensation is easy to determine. Keep in mind that this compensation is in addition to compensation provided for your injuries from the accident. Pain and suffering is related to medical records, but it does not really depend on medical bills. Generally, you want to reach a point where you are either done with your medical treatment or nearly done with the treatment. Doctors usually refer to this as “permanent and stationary.” That way you have a better idea of the pain and suffering you experienced as whole.
However, sometimes those who are seriously injured require continual treatment. Part of the pain and suffering compensation will consider how much future treatment will cost and how it will affect your overall well being and way of life. If you fall into this category, it is worth the effort to talk to a car accident attorney to be sure that your settlement will be enough to cover all of these potential future expenses. You can only receive one settlement offer, so be sure it is enough to cover everything.