Before filing a car accident compensation claim, it is important to understand the basics.
Generally, a claim involves compensation for the damage caused to a vehicle and compensation for the injuries sustained. Here, we will consider the ‘personal injury’ or ‘bodily injury’ compensation claim.
In some states, a no-fault policy is applicable. Under this policy, one cannot make any claim against the other driver for personal injuries sustained during an auto accident. Also, no compensation is awarded for the sufferings caused due to the injuries. In general, in such states, all compensation including the treatment charges and other expenses would be borne by the victim’s insurance company. However, even in these states, if the degree of trauma is severe or the treatment and other related expenses cross a certain permissible limit defined by the insurance company, the victim is entitled to file a case of compensation to cover the losses incurred.
When to File a Car Accident Claim
Filing for compensation should usually be done after you have completely healed of your injuries or are in a state to properly represent your case. This serves many purposes; one such purpose is that if you file a claim before the completion of treatment, some expenses may be left out of the compensation package.
When you go to your insurance company to file a claim, you will be required to submit a set of documents showing details of the accident, the losses sustained by you, the expenses incurred, and the compensation you demand. This is known as a ‘claim settlement package’ or a ‘demand package’. After you submit your demand package, the insurance company studies the case and prepares an initial report. If the case is accepted by the insurance company, then several rounds of talks and meetings will shape the final settlement draft and in turn the value of the compensation. In return, you will have to give a written statement that the losses you have incurred due to the accident have been compensated for and you will not make any other claim regarding the same.
How is the Compensation Amount Calculated?
In the insurance industry, experts often use three methods to calculate the amount of compensation to be awarded. These three methods are:
Almost all insurance companies use software to calculate the amount of compensation in small cases. The most popular software used is Colossus. This is a simple program in which certain input parameters are fed and an approximate compensation value is given as the output.
• Fast and reliable.
• Especially beneficial when the other party is inexperienced.
• Does not consider certain parameters.
• Gives an approximate result.
Multiple of specials
All of your main expenses are added together and multiplied by a factor ranging between 1.5 to 4, to calculate the compensation value.
The total medical expenses or the cost incurred due to sufferings is calculated per diem (for a day, week, or month) and multiplied by the number of months of treatment to reach a final amount. This amount is added to the amount obtained by the multiple of specials method to give the final compensation amount.
Contact a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer
Once you understand the basics, it is important to contact an experienced Missouri car accident attorney. Navigating the legal system can be confusing, so it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to get you the full compensation you are entitled to.
If you have been injured in an auto accident call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 and schedule a free consultation.
photo credit: mmechtley