If you were in an Ohio car accident and need to recover damages outside the scope of a basic insurance claim, you are probably considering filing a lawsuit. In your search for more information on car accident settlements, you probably want to know how much your accident claim is worth.
You likely have come across some sort of auto accident settlement calculator. Car crash settlement calculators are popping up more and more these days. The proprietors of these car accident lawsuit calculators claim that they can accurately predict how much an individual accident settlement is worth.
Car accident injury settlement calculators might seem like a godsend. After all, you don’t have to hire a lawyer. Just plug in the information and get a value in return. But you may be wondering, Do these car accident estimate calculators really work? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding “No.” We at Bensinger Legal Services put together this piece to provide a bit more information on car accident settlement calculators to explain why they may mislead you.
Why Don’t Car Wreck Settlement Calculators Work?
Car accident settlement amounts calculators cannot accurately predict the value of your claim because no two car accident claims are the same. There are a seemingly infinite number of factors that can impact any civil settlement’s value. At the most basic level, car accident settlement calculators simply cannot account for all the relevant facts, circumstances, and other factors that will impact your claim and subsequent settlement.
What Factors Impact a Typical Settlement?
As noted, there is a seemingly endless number of factors that impact car accident settlement values. Some of those factors play more of a role than others. By far, the most important factor is damages: the type of damages suffered, the extent to which those damages affect you, and how well you document those damages play a crucial role in your case. While there are other factors at play—including who the different parties to the settlement are—nothing has as much impact as damages.
As the most important element in the value of a civil claim, it is important to understand damages as a whole. Damages include any and all demonstrable harmful effects that you suffer as a result of the accident. Damages are typically split into two separate categories: economic damages on one hand and non-economic damages on the other.
Economic damages are those that are concrete and have an objective, quantifiable value. Things like the cost of repairing your car are economic damages. You can look at an invoice or estimate of the cost of repair and objectively prove that damage. Similarly, economic damages include costs of medical care and lost wages. With all these damages, you have a verifiable, quantitative value that you can demonstrate in court. At best, car accident settlement amount calculators are good at adding up those amounts, but they are no better than the calculator on your phone.
Non-economic damages do not have a quantifiable value and are inherently intangible. Things like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and the loss of use of a bodily function are all non-economic damages. While you can put a verifiable price on the cost of mental health treatment—which is an example of economic damage—the linked non-economic damage you suffer in that event is the trauma itself. That trauma, often called pain and suffering, is a non-economic damage, and it is hard to measure.
Lawyers know how to take into account various factors that play into non-economic damages because they have experience in doing so. Car accident settlement calculators simply cannot accurately gauge the value of non-economic damages.
The Parties Involved
The parties to a given claim can also have a large impact on any car accident settlement. Everybody is unique. Everyone has their own personal biases, concerns, and situations. All those factors can come into play in settlement negotiations. A defendant in one case may fight your claim, or aspects of it, much more than another defendant.
Whether the difference in actions is based on their feelings about the accident or how much money they are willing to use to fight the case is impossible to predict. And the parties involved are not just you and the defendant. There are also the lawyers, the insurance adjusters or representatives, the police officer at the scene, and the judge overseeing your case. Even the exact same claim, with the same attorneys and parties involved, can come to a different conclusion depending on the day. There is absolutely no way for auto wreck accident settlement calculators to accurately take these factors into account.
How Can I Get an Accurate Estimate If I Don’t Use an Auto Accident Payout Calculator?
If you want an accurate estimate of the value of your Ohio car accident claim, your best option is to discuss the case with an experienced attorney. While attorneys cannot predict everything with 100% accuracy, they have the experience and tools necessary to take many different factors into account. Take non-economic damages, for example. Courts often calculate non-economic damages by multiplying the total economic damages in a given claim by a particular number, usually between 1 and 5.
The multiplier used will depend on the extent of the non-economic damages. A lawyer who has seen cases with similar non-economic damages can give you an educated prediction as to those damages’ value by drawing on that experience. Similarly, lawyers are familiar with different car insurance companies and how they operate. One insurance provider might place more value on settling quicker than another. At the end of the day, your lawyer is the best option for getting an estimate because they know from experience how much money your case is likely worth.
Bensinger Legal Services Can Help with Your Estimate
If you’d like an accurate estimate of the value of your accident claim, Bensinger Legal Services is here for you. Our car accident attorneys help clients get the most out of their auto accident claims every day. The first step we will take—after listening to your story and gathering facts—is to provide you with an estimate. That way, you will know what you can expect in the case.
Our lead attorney, Aaron Bensinger, isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with the most powerful insurance companies around. He understands what you are going through, and he knows how hard it is to fight for your rights. His tireless advocacy can make a positive difference in your Ohio car accident claim, so call us today for a free consultation!