How do I calculate my settlement offer after an accident?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2012

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How do I calculate my settlement offer after an accident?

Asked on October 20, 2012 under Accident Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were not injured in the accident, and your accident is property damage only, your settlement will be the cost of repairs to your car and reimbursment for rental car expense.

If you were injured in the accident, your personal injury claim is separate from your property damage claim. 

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these items.  Compensation for the the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It just depends on the facts of the case.  For example, if you are having residual problems such as pain after completing your medical treatement, compensation for pain and suffering would be greater than someone who has fully recovered.  I would usually ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower offer, and you can continue negotiations to try to obtain a larger amount than what the insurance company is offering.  If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party/ registered owner of the vehicle if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party/registered owner prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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