How Insurance Companies Calculate Car Accident Settlements

woman with broken arm drivingInsurance companies factor in a number of considerations to determine how much to pay for a car accident. Each and every case is different. The primary issues the insurance companies consider to calculate the amount of compensation they’ll pay include:

  • The amount of property damage involved
  • The nature and extent of any injuries
  • The policy limits of their policyholder

Property Damage

Assuming there were no injuries, the insurer will calculate the costs of repairing the damage to your vehicle. If a fender and a light were damaged, the insurer might repair the fender and replace the light. If the cost of replacement or repair is greater than the value of the vehicle itself, the insurer might declare it a complete or total loss and pay the actual cash value of the vehicle.

The Nature and Extent of Injuries

The value of an injury is more difficult to determine than property damage. When you’ve been injured in an accident, the insurer is going to determine the value of your case with:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Any permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

 

If there are issues on future medical bills or lost earnings, they’re to be calculated on a present day value basis. Any compensation for pain and suffering will be based on your available medical records and medical reports. Before you even consider a settlement offer, you should have reached maximum medical improvement. Once you sign a release of claims in return for a sum of settlement money, you’ve forever waived the right to any further compensation.

Policy Limits

Mandatory minimum liability insurance in Nevada has been set at $15,000 with $10,000 of property damage. Those are low limits. If you’re in an accident, and a $25,000 vehicle is determined to be a total loss, and you’ve suffered $50,000 in personal injuries, at best you’ll only receive the amount of those policy limits. That’s why you need to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance along with collision coverage. You’ll be glad you have them when you need them.

The attorneys at Mainor Wirth focus their practice exclusively on personal injury. They’re dedicated, experienced, aggressive and successful. Don’t talk to the adverse insurer after an accident. Call Mainor Wirth right away at 702-464-5000, or use our online contact form.