When someone’s negligence causes you to suffer property damage and injuries, you want to recover compensation for those losses. However, you may be unsure how much your case is worth. Although some websites claim to provide a car accident settlement calculator, the estimates they provide are extremely limited because many different factors can affect your individual settlement.
For this reason, it’s best to contact a qualified Pasco County, Florida car accident attorney to assist in calculating the value of your personal injury lawsuit. Missing out on an opportunity for an accurate estimation of your injuries following a car accident could be catastrophic. Following a car accident, many struggle to get back on their feet due to an inability to work.
With mounting medical bills, you may never get ahead of this financial burden. An experienced Florida personal injury attorney uses the facts of your individual case to help you estimate your potential recovery after a car accident more accurately than any car accident settlement calculator in Florida.
Do Florida Car Accident Settlement Calculators Work?
Auto accident settlement calculations depend on multiple factors. An online car accident calculator is simply not equipped to take all these factors into account, especially those that are subjective. For example, your pain and suffering may represent a large portion of your damages, but it’s hard for an accident calculator to assess the monetary value of pain and suffering because it is an intangible loss that varies from person to person.
When you have a personal injury attorney, they can evaluate your individual circumstances in light of their past experience. They can also examine the evidence supporting your claim and assess the strength of your case to help you calculate a reasonable settlement amount.
How Do Florida Accident Attorneys Calculate Damages?
After a car accident, your personal injury attorney gathers evidence to calculate your damages based on their experience. They will advise you on the type of evidence required to build a strong case for recovery. Your personal injury attorney will help you identify all types of damages you may be entitled to, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages represent real, actual financial losses resulting from your injury.
Various types of medical expenses qualify as economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Past and future lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Lost services, and
- Lost employment benefits.
When calculating economic damages, it’s vital to retain all proof of your losses. Your personal injury attorney calculates economic damages through medical bills, medical diagnoses, pay stubs, tax returns, and receipts. Since economic damages are objective, you could get a rough estimate of these damages from a car accident lawsuit calculator.
An accident calculator is much less equipped to accurately estimate your non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are subjective and intangible in nature, and they can therefore vary greatly from case to case. Some injured parties may receive extremely large recovery amounts due to non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages may include the following:
- Pain and suffering (both emotional and physical),
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of companionship,
- Permanent disfigurement, and
- Lost enjoyment of life.
It’s crucial to speak to your attorney about the type of suffering you’ve endured after your accident. For some accident victims, non-economic damages range from half the cost of their medical expenses to five times the amount of their medical expenses. Unlike some states, Florida places no cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can recover.
Florida permits punitive damages in only a small percentage of personal injury cases. Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant and deter similar future misconduct.
Before you can recover punitive damages, you must show that the party that harmed you acted in an extremely reckless or intentionally harmful manner.
Florida law limits punitive damages to the greater of the following:
Three times the sum of your economic and non-economic damage award, or
If you think your claim might warrant punitive damages, you will want to consult with your attorney. Car accident settlement calculators in Florida are not capable of providing you an accurate estimate of your potential punitive damages.
Ways to Calculate the Value of Your Florida Car Accident Settlement
As discussed above, non-economic damages can be hard to calculate, and car accident settlement calculators in Florida cannot take into account the various factors that may affect the value of your claim. So how does an attorney make an auto accident settlement calculation? When it comes to calculating non-economic damages, there are two common methods that attorneys use.
Per Diem Method
One method an attorney may use to calculate the value of your claim is to assign a daily value to your pain and suffering and then multiply it by the number of days it took you to recover. This method is common in situations where your recovery time is likely to be shorter.
Alternatively, attorneys often use the multiplier method to estimate non-economic damages. The multiplier method estimates non-economic damages by adding up all economic damages and multiplying that number by a number between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier number used depends on the severity of the non-economic injuries suffered.
Factors used to consider what multiplier number to use between 1.5 and 5 include:
- The obviousness of the other driver’s fault,
- The seriousness of your injuries,
- Proof of pain and suffering, and
- Period of recovery needed.
The multiplier method is just an estimation. Actual non-economic damage awards may be significantly more or less than the multiplier method calculates.