How much your car accident lawsuit is worth depends on several factors, but primarily the lawsuit covers the type of physical injuries you suffered in the car accident and how those injuries have affected your life. Catastrophic injuries, such as a spinal cord injury or third-degree burns, can increase the value of a lawsuit.
Calculating the financial losses from your car accident can give you a general idea of how much your car accident lawsuit is worth. On the other hand, if your actions contributed in any way to the crash, the value of your car accident lawsuit could decrease.
Type of Damages in Your Car Accident Lawsuit
Compensatory damages fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that you can quantify, such as the medical bills you paid to treat your injuries and your car repair costs. These damages compensate you for your financial losses from the accident.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as the physical pain you suffered from your injuries and the emotional distress you have because of your accident.
The total costs attached to each item in these two categories may give you a general estimate of what your car lawsuit is worth.
Examples of Economic Damages
Medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage are common types of damages included in lawsuits.
Medical bills can cost more than other damages depending on the type of injury you suffered from the car accident. Serious injuries may require surgeries, several visits to primary care doctors and specialists, and inpatient rehabilitation. Your health insurance may cover some of the costs. But you may have to pay out-of-pocket for the remaining costs that your health insurance does not cover.
Depending on the type of injuries you suffered in the car accident, you may not be able to work. If your job does not offer paid sick leave or you use up all of the days in your sick bank, you may lose wages on the days that you are off.
Accidents can cause substantial vehicle damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. You can also lose personal contents in your car, such as your computer or phone. You may be able to use your collision insurance coverage to pay for car repairs while you are waiting for your lawsuit to be resolved. If not, you may have to pay out of pocket to get your car repaired.
Auto Insurance Companies and the Value of a Lawsuit
Auto insurers use different methods to calculate insurance claims. While insurance companies factor in medical bills, lost wages, and other compensatory damages, insurers may also look for ways to decrease the value of claims.
When an injury victim does not agree with an insurer’s calculation of a claim, the injury victim has the option of filing a lawsuit and letting a judge or jury resolve the matter.
What Decreases the Value of Your Lawsuit
An insurer can find that your actions contributed to causing the accident. For instance, if the insurer investigated your accident and found that you were reading text messages before the crash happened, the insurer can claim that you may have been able to avoid the other driver had you not been distracted.
In this example, the insurer may find that you contributed to the accident, and apply Tennessee’s comparative negligence law to your case.
Comparative Negligence Law
Tennessee’s comparative negligence law assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident. For instance, the driver who caused the crash may be 80 percent at fault for the car accident, but the other driver may be assigned 20 percent at fault. If the other driver filed a claim, the driver’s compensation would reduce by 20 percent.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
You may want to have a car accident lawyer review your estimate of your lawsuit. The lawyer may be able to find other types of financial losses you suffered that could boost your lawsuit’s value.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC for a Free Consultation
If you are preparing a lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages from a car accident, Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help you determine how much your car accident lawsuit is worth.
We can estimate the costs of your present and future damages and collect additional evidence that might increase the worth of your car accident lawsuit. Our law firm can also represent you during the court trial for your lawsuit.
Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation.