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How much is a car accident case worth?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Car Accidents |

It can be hard for people to estimate the financial impact of a car crash immediately after one occurs. There are many expenses that begin accruing almost immediately. Drivers have to arrange to tow their vehicles to repair shops in many cases. They may need to rent a vehicle to provide them with transportation until theirs is safe to drive again.

If someone has injuries caused by the crash, the medical consequences can be quite expensive. They may have hospital bills and long-term medical costs. They may also have lost wages because they cannot work after getting hurt.

Those preparing to file an insurance claim typically need to have a rough idea of what the crash may cost. In some cases, it quickly becomes apparent that insurance isn’t enough to cover someone’s collision expenses. How can people evaluate the cost of an Iowa collision to determine if insurance can provide adequate financial reimbursement after a collision?

By calculating economic damages

The main consideration after a crash is the direct economic losses. People have invoices declaring how much it costs to repair their vehicles and how much medical care they require. They also have documentation affirming likely future expenses, such as ongoing physical therapy costs or long-term reductions in their earning potential. Technically, the insurance policy of the driver at fault may only cover a set amount of expenses. Thankfully, if someone files a lawsuit, there is no cap on what economic losses they can include.

By quantifying non-economic losses

There are numerous secondary or non-economic expenses caused by the average car crash. Those include someone’s pain and suffering because of the injuries they incur. Iowa has rules for calculating those losses as well. After calculating economic damages, people can also calculate their pain and suffering damages. Certain scenarios involve limits on non-economic losses. Claims related to medical malpractice are subject to a $2 million limit on non-economic damages, for example.

The process of calculating pain and suffering is somewhat complex. After adding lost wages and medical expenses to determine the full economic damages caused by the crash, people multiply that by a factor of between 1.5 and five. The number chosen depends on how severe someone’s suffering is. Other times, there could be a daily rate established to compensate someone for their pain and suffering.

In many cases, going to court is the only means of fully recovering the financial impact of a motor vehicle collision. Estimating what a crash costs is the first step toward holding another party accountable for a wreck.