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How to Calculate a Car Accident Settlement

Whether you were hit in a fender-bender or multi-car pileup, a car accident can make you feel helpless, if not utterly hopeless.

Many accident victims end up feeling further distress when confronted with the need to carefully calculate the amount of compensation they need in a settlement, regardless of the amount they’re seeking.

While there is no hard and fast rule for determining how much you should request in a car accident settlement, there are a number of guidelines to follow.

Include All Injuries and Losses You’ve Suffered

Car accident victims should document each and every injury and loss to which they’ve been subjected because of their crash. Injuries car accident victims commonly suffer include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Face and eye damage
  • Spine injury
  • Severe bruising and scarring
  • Burns
  • Amputation
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding

Losses, which are often more challenging for accident victims to pinpoint and record, may include medical expenses, lost wages or earning potential, pain and suffering, emotional distress, car repair or replacement, loss of consortium, and reduced quality of life.

Breaking Down Categories of Damages

Car accident victims are typically entitled to receive two forms of compensation in a settlement: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are meant to compensate for losses of a monetary nature, such as car repairs, doctor bills, and lost income. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are meant to provide financial relief for losses that are more difficult to pin a price on, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the inability to participate in former hobbies or passions.

Because economic damages are only meant to help you break even, non-economic damages are where you may find yourself taking home more than you would’ve initially expected.

The other side of the equation with non-economic damages, however, is that they can be hard to calculate, particularly if you are relying on the unqualified advice of friends, family, and internet message boards.

While there are a few formulas for calculating the amount you should request in your settlement, the truth is that there is no plug-and-play formula that gets everyone a figure that’s both adequate and attainable. This is why you should consult with an attorney who has extensive experience with car accident cases. He or she can get you on course with your settlement.

Contact a Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer

After a car accident, your focus shouldn’t have to be on trying to collect compensation from insurers and negligent drivers—it should be on getting well.

To work with a lawyer who will take care of all the details, contact a car accident lawyer at Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers today. Give us a call at 225-387-2323 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.