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

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2015

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.

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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