What Are Car Accident Claims Worth?

Posted by: Copenhaver, Ellet & Derrico

Rightfully, car accident victims have a lot of questions after a collision. But one of the most common is, “What am I going to be awarded?” It makes sense to want to know that your time and efforts will pay off, especially when you have already been through so much.

Figuring out how much you could recover is a detailed process. And whether it’s through a car accident insurance settlement or jury verdict, you want to be sure that you are pursuing the maximum result. To accomplish this, you should work with a Roanoke car accident lawyer.

At Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico, we are committed to helping car accident injury victims get through the process quickly. With the compensation they need after one of the worst times of their lives. Let us discuss what your claim could be worth.

Call (540) 655-1854 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Your Right to Compensation After a Car Accident

When someone else causes your car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You have the right to be made whole after a car accident. This means you should be repaid for all the ways your life has been adversely affected.

These are generally divided into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include all your monetary losses. This includes expenses directed related to your car accident, such as your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Medical equipment
  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Childcare expenses
  • Household maintenance fees
  • Lost income
  • Lost future earnings and benefits
  • Property damage

These are only a few of the financial losses you could have experienced. Your lawyer can help analyze your finances in detail to ensure everything is accounted for.

Non-Economic Damages

Not every loss you suffer after a car wreck is financial. Non-economic damages are the non-monetary ways your life has been affected by the car accident. Some of these losses include:

  • Loss of society and support
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Inconvenience
  • Damage to your reputation

Non-economic damages don’t have a set monetary value. But your car accident lawyer can help you quantify these losses fairly. The at-fault party should pay for every way they have affected your life.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not commonly awarded. But in some car accident cases, punitive damages are warranted. The judge may award you punitive damages if they want to punish the liable party and deter others from similar, egregious behavior like drunk driving.

Punitive damages are awarded beyond what you are entitled to. They are the court’s way of sending a message – these actions are reprehensible. And they will not be tolerated. If you think the at-fault driver’s behavior was particularly reckless, you should discuss if pursuing punitive damages is appropriate with your lawyer.

How Your Lawyer Calculates the Value of Your Claim

There are various ways an experienced personal injury lawyer can calculate the value of your claim based on the factors involved. And while you should be wary of any attorney who promises a precise amount too soon, they can get estimation with either the multiplier method or per diem method.

The Multiplier Method

First, we can calculate the value of your economic damages. Then, we figure out what your multiplier number is. This is a number between one point five and five. The higher the number, the more you will be awarded. Many different factors can determine which multiplier is appropriate for you.

Some of these include:

  • How severe your injuries were
  • How impactful your injuries were
  • How long you suffered from your injuries
  • Whether you share fault for the accident

Once your multiplier is determined, we multiply it by your total economic damages. This the value of your non-economic damages. Finally, we add up the value of your economic damages and non-economic damages to get the total value of your claim.

The Per Diem Method

We already have the value of your economic damages. But we still need to calculate your non-economic damages. The other way we can do this is called the per diem method. “Per diem” means “per day.” And you’re going to multiply your non-economic damages by a fixed daily rate.

For example, let’s say your fixed daily rate was $300. It takes you roughly two years to fully recover. That’s 730 days. Then, we multiply $300 by 730, and your non-economic damages are worth $219,000.

Your lawyer will need to determine what a fair daily rate is. And if your injuries are permanent, this method may not be appropriate.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Virginia

Are you ready to find out what you could be awarded? An experienced Roanoke car accident lawyer at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico could help you get the most out of your claim.

Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation when you fill out our convenient contact form. Or call our office at (540) 655-1854 to get started.