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Salt Lake City Utah Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident that occurred as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from their insurance company. This kind of action is called filing a third-party claim. Once you’ve established that the other party is liable for your injuries, you must demonstrate your harms and losses that you hope to be compensated for. These financial harms and losses are called damages. Some of the common things for which you might make a claim are medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The insurance company will take all of these into account when determining what settlement, if any, to offer. It is important to understand however, that insurance companies aim to protect their bottom line. Even if you are presented with a seemingly generous settlement offer from the responsible party’s insurance company, don’t take that offer until you’ve consulted with an experienced Salt Lake City, UT car accident lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner. Our team will be able to advise you if you should expect more, and possibly much more, compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company.
The calculation of medical expenses is based on your past, present, and estimated future healthcare needs related to your accident. Past and present expenses are straightforward. You should be able to produce medical bills, records, explanations of benefits from your health insurance carrier, and other paperwork to show the actual costs. Estimating future expenses is more complicated. You may need to employ healthcare experts to testify as to what your future needs are likely to cost. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to avoid accepting a settlement offer before speaking with a Salt Lake City, Utah car accident lawyer. You may not yet be able to calculate just how much compensation your medical care will require into the future.
Like medical expenses, lost wages may include past, present, and future calculations. You can demonstrate with tax and payroll records what you were earning before the accident, and then show how your income has been affected by it. However, if the injuries are likely to impair your ability to make a future living, your Salt Lake City, Utah car accident lawyer may need to call experts to establish what your earning potential would have been had you never been harmed in an accident.
Pain and Suffering
The calculation of pain and suffering is not as easily established as medical expenses or lost wages. Pain and suffering is a legal term that attempts to quantify your negative experience. It includes the physical pain you endure, but it also includes emotional distress and mental damages like grief, fear, and worry. Pain and suffering may also include the loss of your ability to enjoy things in which you once took pleasure. Pain and suffering damage awards may be very small or very large, depending on the circumstances of the case.
While there is no firm calculation for pain and suffering, most attorneys use one of two formulas.
- Multiply the plaintiff’s actual damages (medical expenses and lost wages) by some number between 1 and 5, representing the severity of the injuries. The product of that equation is the amount of pain and suffering.
- Use a per diem approach to establish an amount per day for each day since the accident.
Insurance companies are not required by any law to honor either of these calculations and to seek damages of any kind can be a complicated process. Contact a knowledgeable and experienced Salt Lake City, Utah car accident lawyer can help to ensure that you receive access to the most comprehensive compensation possible under the circumstances.