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Settling Your Car Accident Claim


Before filing a car accident compensation claim, it is important to understand the basics.

the scene of a car accident

Generally, a claim involves compensation for the damage caused to a vehicle and compensation for the injuries sustained. This article will consider the ‘personal injury’ or ‘bodily injury’ compensation claim.

No-Fault States

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. Generally, in such states, no compensation is awarded for the suffering caused due to the injuries. 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 may be entitled to file a claim to cover the losses incurred.

When to File a Car Accident Claim

Filing for compensation should usually be done after you have reached maximum medical improvement and are in a state to represent your case properly. 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 generally 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 submitting your demand package, the insurance company studies the case and prepares an initial report. If the insurance company accepts the claim, 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 generally 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

To calculate the compensation value, all of your main expenses are added together and multiplied by a factor ranging between 1.5 to 4.

Per diem

The total medical expenses or the cost incurred due to suffering is generally 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 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 St. Louis car accident attorney. Navigating the legal system can be confusing, so it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to get you the full compensation you are legally entitled to.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Updated: March 29, 2022