How Damages Are Calculated for Car Accident Injuries

valuing car accident damagesOne of the most common questions that our experienced lawyers at Sigman Janssen receive is, “What is the value of my case?” The answer to this question is tied to several factors, including the extent of the damages you sustained in the accident. Damages are the losses that you have suffered because of the accident.

A Green Bay car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to review the details of your situation and determine the legal options that could be open to you. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees for our services. We are only paid if we get money for you.

Settlement Factors for Car Accidents

There are a variety of factors that affect whether a car accident claim will settle and for how much:

  • Clarity of fault – Wisconsin is a fault-based state for car accidents, meaning the party that is responsible for the accident is also responsible for any damages caused. This party’s insurance company would help cover these damages, up to the policy limits. Sometimes, your own insurance company helps cover damages. If it is clear that the insured caused the accident, the insurance company may be more likely to settle the claim.
  • Type and severity of your injuries – The more severe the victim’s injuries, the more medical expenses he or she is likely to have. Victims who are severely injured are also much more likely to miss a lot of time from work. They could also struggle to perform daily activities and continue working in the same field as before the injury.
  • Strength of your evidence – When you have medical evidence that links your injuries to the accident and documentation such as photographic evidence that establishes the other party’s fault and your injuries, this can help strengthen your claim for compensation.
  • Insurance policies and limits – The insurance company will review the policy that it has in place with the insured and determine what coverage applies. Additionally, it will only pay up to the limits of the insurance policy, even if your damages exceed this amount. Insurance companies often dispute what coverages apply and this requires the injured party to have an experienced lawyer to review the insurance coverages and determine what is applicable.
  • Legal representation – Insurance companies know that seeking legal representation can impact the potential value of a claim as perceived by jurors. When you have an experienced lawyer on your side who has successfully received jury verdicts on behalf of clients, the insurance company has an incentive to settle the claim fairly. 

Damages Available in a Car Accident Case

There are two main kinds of damages in a car accident case: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent the actual financial losses that you suffered because of the accident. These damages can be quantified and are usually established by providing documentation.

Non-economic damages are those that are not based on financial losses, so they are more difficult to value. 

Some of the most common economic damages that are incurred as a result of a crash include:

Medical-Related Costs

These could include the cost of:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Hospital stays
  • Follow-up doctor’s visits
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy services
  • Medical devices such as crutches or wheelchairs

Wage Losses

If you lost time from work because you were receiving medical treatment or recovering from the accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for lost wages. Additionally, if your earning capacity is diminished, you may be able to receive compensation for this loss.

Damaged Vehicles

Your vehicle may have been damaged in the accident. The value of this aspect of your claim may be equal to one of the following:

  • The reasonable cost to repair your vehicle
  • The reasonable fair market value of your vehicle
  • Rental car or loss of use payment while your vehicle is unable to be driven

If the accident caused a “total loss,” the amount you may receive would be based on the depreciated value of the vehicle, not on the cost to get a new vehicle, unless the insurance policy states otherwise.

Some of the most common non-economic damages include:

Pain and Suffering Experienced

You may also be able to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced. These damages are based on factors such as:

  • The type and extent of your injuries
  • Your prognosis for additional pain and suffering
  • The level of pain you have suffered
  • Permanent injuries

Loss of Affection or Companionship

Many injuries impact marital relationships. Wisconsin law allows you to seek damages for the loss of affection or companionship your spouse has experienced because of the accident.

Contact Us to See if You May be able to Take Legal Action

If you were harmed in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, it is important that you consider your rights to pursue legal action. There are strict time limits for when you must file a claim, which is why we recommend that you contact our legal team at Sigman Janssen for help.

We offer free consultations and there is no risk or obligation involved. If we represent you, there are no upfront fees. We only get paid if we help you recover compensation for your injuries.

Call (877) 888-5201 to learn more about your possible legal options.