How do insurance companies calculate car accident settlements?
There are different kinds of damages that exist for automobile accident claims. Most damages fall into two main categories: (1) Special Damages and (2) General Damages. Special damages include any specific costs incurred as a result of the injury, such as bills for medical care and prescription medication, as well as costs in repairing your property (usually your vehicle). Special damages may also include future costs that are reasonably anticipated, such as additional medical treatment. Special damages can also include lost wages from work that was missed due to your injury or other out-of-pocket costs. When calculating special damages, most insurance companies will not only look at the costs incurred from medical treatment and damage to property but will also compare those costs to determine if they are in the same range as what others charge for similar services.
Alternatively, general damages cover damages for “pain and suffering” or psychological trauma that results from the injury; these damages are real and are allowed under the law, even if they don’t have an obvious dollar amount. General damages are notoriously difficult to calculate, but most insurance companies (and other attorneys) will compare with the general damages that have been awarded in similar cases as a comparison.
In order to make sure that you are seeking the appropriate damages and are not limiting compensation available from an automobile accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney right away.