How to Calculate the Value of an Injury Claim | Austin Injury Lawyers
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If you have been injured in an accident, chances are you have a lot running through your mind. Dealing with insurance companies and worrying about your health, medical bills, and missed time from work are certainly a lot to process. More importantly, you may also be left wondering how all of this will impact your financial future.
It is very important to understand what your injury claim may be worth. Familiarizing yourself with the process and tools used to calculate an injury claim can be very helpful when it comes time to deal with insurance companies. By understanding how to calculate the value of your claim, you can protect yourself against insurance companies who may try to convince you that your claim is worth less than it really is.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, or if you would like to learn more about calculating the value of your claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our Austin personal injury attorneys.
Calculating the Value of Your Claim
In general, the value of your claim can be separated into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages consist of financial expenses that you may have incurred or wages that you may have lost as a result of your injury. Examples of economic damages include: medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages include the subjective suffering that may have resulted from your injury. Examples of non-economic damages include: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and disruption of daily lifestyle.
The value of your economic damages reflects the sum of every provable financial expense that was a result of the accident. Calculating your economic damages will require you to keep a record of any bills that you may have incurred as a result of your injury, as well as any and all wages that you lost due to missed time from work.
For example, if you were injured in an accident and were later treated at a hospital or by a family doctor, the resulting medical bill will be one component of your economic damages calculation. Any medication or medical equipment that you may have purchased as a result of your injury will also be added into the equation. If you were injured in an automobile accident, the appraised damages to your vehicle are also considered to be economic damages.
The amount of lost earnings due to missed time from work is also an important component of economic damages. If, for example, you were unable to work for seven days because of your injury, the amount of earnings you would have made for those work days will be included into your equation. Be sure to keep detailed records of any time you may have missed from work due to doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, or inability to go to work due to pain.
Because the value of your economic damages relies heavily on bills incurred, it is very important to keep organized and thorough records of the bills you receive following an injury. Doing so will not only make the calculation process much simpler, but it will also provide you with hard evidence of your expenses which can be used against insurance companies who often try to minimize the value of your claim.
Non-economic damages are a little harder to quantify. Because these damages consist of things such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, you cannot calculate the total of your non-economic damages simply by adding up the value of your bills.
Most courts and insurance companies deal with this issue by turning the value of your non-economic damages into a “multiplier,” which is used to multiply the value of your economic damages. As a general rule of thumb, the more severe your non-economic damages are--for example, if you are left dealing with a lot of stress or can no longer play with your children--the higher the multiplier number will be. A higher multiplier means a greater value of your injury claim.
The multiplier figure typically ranges from 1.5 to 5, and is calculated by assessing such factors as:
- The extent of your injuries
- The likelihood that you will completely recover
- The amount of future treatment needed
- The effects of your injuries on your daily activities and lifestyle
You can establish the extent of your non-economic damages by proving that the accident and your resulting injuries have dramatically affected your life. Although each case is different, individuals who are left dealing with stress, anxiety, and altered lifestyles typically have a better chance at establishing significant non-economic damages.
The formula used for calculating the overall value of your claim will look like this:
(Economic Damages) x (Non-Economic Damages Multiplier) = Value of Your Claim
For example, if your economic damages totaled $10,000.00, and the multiplier of your non-economic damages was determined to be 3, the value of your claim would be:
($10,000.00) x (3) = $30,000.00
Because each case is different, and because other important factors such as comparative negligence may come into play, it is important to consider discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.
An attorney who has handled these types of cases will be able to provide you with valuable guidance that can ultimately put you in a better position to receive fair compensation.
Our Austin Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help You
At Zinda Law Group, our Austin accident attorneys have plenty of experience handling personal injury cases. Our lawyers have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest claim, and we will work tirelessly to assist you in seeking fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations and why you will pay nothing unless we win your case. That's our No Fee Guarantee.
If you would like to speak with an Austin injury lawyer about your case or about calculating the value of your claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.