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Calculating Car Accident Insurance Settlements

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

If you are in a car accident, you will likely have to make an insurance claim. There are some things you should be aware of before you get in that situation, such as what factors an insurer considers when offering a settlement for a claim.

The amount of money you can recover depends on a number of factors, including extent of damage and injury, as well as policy limits. Insurers do not have a single mode of calculation, so let's consider general principles.

Vehicle Damage

If your car is damaged and you make an insurance claim, it is likely you will be asked to visit a local repair shop, get an estimate, and submit it to the insurer. You may find that your insurer declines to pay for repairs on a severely damaged vehicle.

According to Free Advice, you could get a settlement offer that is worth less than a replacement car because your insurer will value your wrecked car counting depreciation. Depending how long you had the vehicle, you might receive a lot less than you need to get a new car.

Personal Injury

Personal injury claims are likely to take longer to settle than claims involving strictly vehicle damage. You should not be in a hurry to accept a final settlement. In fact, it's advisable to talk to a personal injury attorney about your situation before you agree to anything as accepting a settlement from an insurer may mean you forego money that you will need.

Depending on the extent of injury and the policy limits, your insurance might not be able to provide you with the coverage you need for care. You should be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care as required. What your injury is worth, however, is difficult to determine at first blush.

The reason it's advisable not to rush into a settlement with an insurer is that you don't know immediately after an injury what long-term effects it might have and how long you could need treatment. Only when you have been declared stable by your doctor and your foreseeable medical future can be determined, should you consider settling with insurance. But remember, only do that after getting advice from counsel.

Consult With Counsel

If you are injured in a car accident, don't make hasty moves with your insurer. Don't do anything until you've spoken to a lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.

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