Calculating Injuries: How Much is a Spokane Car Accident Claim Worth?

October 19, 2018

As Spokane Car Accident Lawyers, we are frequently asked “How much is my car accident worth?” or “What is the value of a car accident in Spokane?” or “Can I use an injury claim calculator?”

How much is a car accident injury claim worth in Spokane?

There is no specific formula or amount you can expect if you have been injured in a car accident. Attorneys or other professionals sometimes say that you should claim “3 to 5 times your medical bills” as some general formula for calculating your recovery. While this provides an easy calculation, there are a number of items to consider before making any determination of the value of your car accident injury. Generally, you are entitled to recover for damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, travel costs, loss of the relationship of a spouse, and pain and suffering for your injuries. Organizing these items is the starting point for assessing the value of your claim.

How is a claim valued?

While costs and expenses provide a baseline for calculating the value of your claim, this approach does little to provide information on how much the injury has impacted your life. At the end of the day, an attorney or adjuster is trying to answer the question of “what would a jury award to this person for their injury.” One person may have high medical bills, all stemming from the day of the accident and emergency room with not much treatment after. Another person may have the same cost of medical bills, but spread over two years of treatment. The cases will not be valued the same because the person who experienced pain and treatment for a long period of time should have experienced more pain and suffering.

I have my medical bills and expenses, so how do I calculate my pain and suffering?

In Washington, the amount of your medical bills is a starting point for recovery on your case. When a person in injured, they are entitled to recover the full value of their medical bills, even if those bills were later discounted by insurance payments or write-offs. Along with other out of pocket expenses, your pain and suffering award should be included on top of receiving these costs. From there, it is the injured person’s job to explain the extent of the pain and suffering, often supported by the records and expenses, and negotiate a reasonable settlement. It’s important to note that, because pain and suffering involves a judgement call, insurance adjusters often want to downplay how much pain and suffering you have experienced, irrespective of the medical bills.

Is it worth hiring an injury attorney to help me?

In Spokane, Washington, there are a number of ways an attorney can generate value in your personal injury claim. It’s important to keep in mind that with all the factors coming into play to value a claim, an insurance adjuster is given a lot of leeway in deciding whether some of the claimed damages are reasonable. For instance, an adjuster may claim an injury was pre-existing your accident, that you over treated, you were overbilled, or you just aren’t as hurt as you claim you are. Our office is always happy to discuss your claim and see what it may be worth. Any consultation is free and we are happy to see if we can add value to your claim.

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