How can I determine how much my claim is worth if I’m not satisfied with the amount they’re offering me?

Asked on July 15, 2015 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your car is damaged, it's worth the reasonable cost to repair, plus out of pocket costs, like renting a car while yours is in the shop.

If your car is totaled, it's worth the then-current fair market or "blue book" value of the car.

If you were injured, it's worth the sum of your out of pocket medical costs, lost wages (if any), reduced future earning potential, and an additional amount, more or less (as a *rough* rule of thumb figure) equal to the medical costs for pain and suffering if you suffered significant and long lasting disability, disfigurement, impairment of life functions or enjoyment, etc. 

That's what you'd get if you went to court and won. If you went to court, though, you'd have lawyer and court costs, possibly expert witness fees, and it'd take months or years to get the money. Therefore, as a settlement to avoid a lawsuit, you generally accept 1/3 to 2/3  of the sum of the above (remember: you're saving alot of money on lawyers, etc.). If the offer is in that range, it's "fair"--then it's just a matter of whether you are content and, of course, trying to get as much within that range as you can.


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