How are car accident settlements calculated in Pennsylvania?

woman sitting across from man with gavel

When you are involved in a car accident and suffer life-altering injuries, you may find that no amount of money can restore your life to the way it was. However, you are still entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered at the hands of a negligent party. Unfortunately, many are unfamiliar with how car accident settlements are calculated, leaving them vulnerable to deceitful insurance adjusters. If this reflects your circumstances, it’s in your best interest to connect with experienced car accident attorneys to fight for the funds you deserve. Additionally, the following blog will help you learn how these totals are calculated.

What damages can the victim of a car accident collect?

To understand how damages are calculated following a car accident, you’ll need to know the different types of compensation you can collect. There are generally two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, are any actual financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. These include medical bills, a reduced earning capacity because of the injuries, and the value of any property damaged in the collision.

Non-economic or general damages can be challenging to calculate because they represent intangible losses. These are more subjective and are left up to the insurance adjuster. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and humiliation.

Is there a method for how car accident settlements are calculated?

When calculating how much compensation someone will receive for their car accident, the most common formula used is called the multiplier method. This essentially combines all the medical bills from the accident and multiplies that amount by a number between 1 and 5. This number represents the value of the injured party’s general damages. Your medical bills are added to your general damages, which are finally combined with your lost wages. The final amount is your settlement award.

To choose the multiplier amount, the insurance adjuster will consider several factors, like how intense your injuries were, documented pain and suffering, whether or not you contributed to the collision, how long it will take you to recover, and the disruption the injury has on your daily life.

For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver and spent a few nights in the hospital, your medical bills may be around $15,000. However, you suffered a torn ACL, which means you can no longer enjoy playing a recreational sport, and you must attend physical therapy three times a week. As such, your medical bills may be multiplied by 4, based on the amount you’ve suffered, to total $60,000. In addition, you had to take time off work to heal, which means you lost $2,500 in wages. As such, you would add these numbers to get a total settlement amount of $77,500.

Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters will do everything possible to give you less money than you deserve for the injuries you’ve suffered. As such, you must connect with an experienced personal injury attorney from Friedman Schuman to discuss the details of your circumstances. We will fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve when settling a car accident. Contact us today to learn more.

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