Types of Compensation After an Auto Accident
After a car crash, you might struggle to recover from significant injuries. Your car might be totaled, and your life completely turned upside down. How will you collect the money you need to recover and rebuild your life?
Unfortunately, not all car accident victims can collect compensation after a car accident. Collecting compensation depends mainly on the type of insurance you carry, the other driver’s insurance, and who is responsible for the crash.
Can you collect compensation for medical expenses and other damages? Or are you on your own?
When a car accident derails your life, you need answers, and you need a law firm on your side that can help you find those answers. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our auto accident lawyers can help you collect the compensation you are entitled to, so you can focus on what’s most important – your recovery.
Types of Compensation
How Does Modified Comparative Fault Work?
Who Pays For My Claim?
What Your Insurance Will and Won’t Pay For
How Insurance Adjusters Determine the Value of a Claim?
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
After a car accident, you might wonder what type of compensation you can receive. Types of compensation available to you will vary depending on the type of accident, your injuries, and the insurance policies involved.
In general, accident victims can seek to recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include anything easy to quantify. They’re based on financial losses and evidence, such as receipts and bills, including medical expenses, car repairs, and lost wages.
Non-economic damages include anything that is not easy to quantify, resulting in damages, including pain and suffering and decreased quality of life.
If another person’s negligence has damaged your car or motor vehicle, you can seek compensation for that loss. Damages could include the cost of repair or replacement if necessary. After an accident, it is a good idea to get a quality estimate on what it will truly take to repair your car. Your estimated quote should be an amount that is sufficient to repair your vehicle to the highest standards.
Current and Future Medical Expenses
After a car accident, accident victims often suffer serious injuries. As a result, they may have to spend a significant time in the hospital and additional months undergoing rehabilitation. Injured accident victims are eligible to receive compensation for their medical expenses and any future, anticipated medical expenses, such as additional corrective surgeries or ongoing medications. Your laywer will speak with your doctor to help determine how expensive your medical costs will be, both now – and in the future.
Accident victims are eligible to recover money for any lost wages they’ve suffered due to the accident. Being unable to work and provide for your family can be stressful, especially for families already living paycheck to paycheck. Suppose your injury is expected to prevent you from working full-time or you have suffered a permanent disability. In that case, you are entitled to recover the loss of all future wages you are now unable to earn due to your accident.
Pain and Suffering
After an accident, you are entitled to seek compensation for pain and suffering. This could be money to compensate you for mental anguish, PTSD, depression, and physical pain. It can be challenging to put a dollar value on pain and suffering, and insurance companies work very hard to limit the amount of non-economic damages they pay.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to the loss of married life or parenting benefits. When you suffer serious and life-changing injuries in an accident, this can rob you and your spouse of important marital time. You may not be able to show affection in the same ways as you did before the accident. In addition, your injuries may prevent you from being a part of your kids’ lives and from parenting in the way you would have done before the crash.
Loss of Enjoyment
A car accident can rob you of the ability to enjoy the life you once had. Your injuries can prevent you from participating in an active lifestyle and enjoying hobbies. Your mental health troubles , such as PTSD might even prevent you from enjoying family gatherings or vacations. You can seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment you feel and the impact this has had on your life.
In Arkansas, injured accident victims may get an award for punitive damages in certain circumstances. These damages are meant to punish reckless drivers for their actions. They are not common, and an attorney can review your case to determine if punitive damages may be awarded.
How Does Modified Comparative Fault Work in Arkansas?
When two or more parties are involved in an accident, it is important to establish liability for the crash. Your attorney must identify who is at fault for the accident to determine who is liable.
In Arkansas, the state follows a modified comparative fault system when assigning blame in an accident. Each party involved in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault, and damages are awarded accordingly.
There are a few key things to know about how modified comparative fault works in Arkansas:
- The state uses a 50/50 rule when allocating fault between parties. If one party is deemed 50% at fault for an accident, the other party will be automatically assigned 50% fault.
- If one party is found to be 50% or more at fault for an accident, they will be barred from receiving any compensation for damages.
- If two or more parties are found to be equally at fault for an accident, each party will be responsible for their own damages.
Understanding how modified comparative fault works is important for anyone who may find themselves involved in an accident in Arkansas. Knowing the state’s rules will help you understand what to expect if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Who Pays For My Claim?
Fault plays a big role in who pays for damages after an accident. If you’re found to be at fault, you may have to pay for the other driver’s damages. If the other driver is at fault, they may have to pay for your damages. In some cases, both drivers may be found to be at fault, and both may have to pay for each other’s damages. Arkansas’ modified comparative fault rule applies.
In general, the person responsible for your accident is responsible for paying for damages. If the liable party has insurance, their insurance company will pay for damages. If the liable party does not have insurance, you may need to seek compensation from your own insurance company and your uninsured motorist policy.
It’s important to note that fault is not always cut and dry. In some cases, both drivers may be partially at fault. For example, if one driver ran a red light, but the other driver was speeding, they may both be at fault.
What Your Insurance Will and Won’t Pay For
Each insurance company is different, but there are some general guidelines about what kinds of damages your policy will cover. Here’s a rundown of the most common types of coverage and how they can impact your claim:
This type of coverage will usually pay for damages caused by your negligence. For example, if you cause a car accident, your liability insurance would cover the other driver’s medical expenses and property damage. If you wish to pay for your own medical costs after you cause an accident, you can purchase an additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy in Arkansas.
This coverage will help pay to repair or replace your own vehicle if damaged in an accident. You’ll likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance company covers any repairs, whether you have collision coverage. It does not pay for damage done to your vehicle that is not related to driving, nor does it cover damage to another person’s car.
This coverage protects you from damages not caused by a collision, such as theft, vandalism, or weather damage. Like collision coverage, you’ll usually have to pay a deductible before your insurance company covers any repairs. This type of insurance is optional in Arkansas. However, many lenders require it.
UM/UIM stands for “uninsured/underinsured motorist” coverage. If you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages, this coverage will kick in to help cover the costs. In Arkansas, UM/UIM insurance is optional. However, it is a valuable policy to purchase because many drivers are underinsured.
Keep in mind that each insurance company is different, so it’s important to read your policy carefully to understand what kinds of damages are covered. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always reach out to your car accident attorney for clarification.
How Do Insurance Adjusters Determine the Value of a Claim?
When insurance adjusters determine the value of a claim, they begin trying to look for any way to deny or reduce your compensation. They must look for ways to pin some blame on you or claim that you had a pre-existing injury.
When calculating the value of a claim, they typically use one of three methods: the multiplier method, the damage formula, or the per diem method. Your Arkansas car accident attorney can review these methods with you and help you understand the true value of your claim.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is the most common way that insurance adjusters determine the value of a claim. The adjuster will take the total amount of damages and multiply it by a factor to determine the final payout amount. The factor can be based on the severity of the damages and the policy limits.
For example, suppose you suffered injuries in a car accident in Arkansas and racked up $10,000 in hospital bills and medical expenses. The insurance adjuster may decide to multiply the medical expenses by 3 to help them arrive at a starting point for negotiations. Using the multiplier method, they will determine your pain and suffering to be $30,000. Any settlement they offer will factor in this amount, plus compensation for the medical bills and any additional lost wages.
Limitations of the Multiplier Method?
There are limitations and disadvantages to using the multiplier method, as with any process. While it may be pretty straightforward, it is inconsistent. An accident victim with a spinal cord injury could find one adjuster using a multiplier of three, while another may use a multiplier of two.
In addition, the multiplier method only looks at medical bills and other tangible bills. It fails to consider an accident victim’s true pain and suffering and living circumstances. A victim who owes less medical expenses may experience more pain and suffering.
For example, a surgeon who suffers a hand injury may have significantly more pain and suffering because of their inability to continue in their chosen profession than someone who works a desk job. Pain and suffering are unique and should be calculated to accurately reflect the victims and their suffering.
The Damage Formula
The damage formula is another way that insurance adjusters may determine the value of a claim. The adjuster will calculate the cost to repair or replace the damaged property with this method. They will then subtract any depreciation from that amount to get the final payout figure.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method is typically used for claims where there is a loss of use of the property. With this method, the insurance adjuster will calculate the daily rate for the loss of use and multiply it by the number of days the property was unavailable. This will give them the final payout amount.
It is important to note that insurance companies will often use different methods to determine the value of a claim, so it is difficult to say definitively how much a claim may be worth. However, understanding how insurance adjusters determine the value of a claim can help you better understand what to expect from your insurance company when you file a claim.
How Do I Calculate How Much I Am Owed After a Car Accident?
To calculate a rough estimate of how much you may be owed after a car accident, you will need to consider a few different factors.
- Determine the Value of Your Vehicle. First, you will need to determine the value of your vehicle. This can be done by researching the Kelley Blue Book value of your car or getting an estimate from a local auto body shop.
- Calculate the Cost of Repairs. Next, you will need to calculate the cost of any necessary repairs. Again, you can either research this information yourself or get an estimate from a local auto body shop.
- Factor in Lost Wages. You would need to factor in any lost wages if you could not work due to your injuries.
- Determine Medical Expenses. You will need to determine how much you spent on medical care and costs over several months. Along with this, you need to accurately determine if you will require future medical care due to your injuries. This includes gathering medical bills, out-of-pocket medical receipts, medication receipts, and future medical procedure costs.
Once you have all of this information, you can begin to calculate a rough estimate of how much you may be owed.
However, it is important to remember that this is only a rough estimate, and the actual amount you are owed may be different. If you have any questions about how to calculate your claim or if you would like assistance in doing so, please contact an Arkansas car accident attorney for help.
How Accurate Are Car Accident Settlement Calculators?
We’ve all seen the car accident settlement calculators online. You enter some basic information about your accident, and boom – you have an estimated value of your claim.
But how accurate are these calculators?
The truth is, they’re not very accurate and can be misleading.
- The calculations are based on simplified formulas that don’t consider the complexities of a real-life car accident claim.
- Every adjuster has their methods for calculating settlements, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that these calculators can use.
- The final settlement value will depend on factors like the insurance company’s policies and the strength of your case – two things that a calculator can’t account for.
So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy settlement estimate, a car accident settlement calculator is not the way to go. For a more accurate assessment of your claim, it’s best to speak with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney.
Why Hire a Lawyer to Determine What Your Car Accident Claim is Worth?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a lot of experience dealing with insurance companies making it difficult to estimate the value of your car accident claim.
An experienced lawyer can help by providing an accurate estimate based on their deep expertise and knowledge of various insurance companies.
In addition, a lawyer can help negotiate with the insurance company to get you the maximum compensation possible for your claim. Contact a qualified car accident lawyer today to learn more about how they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Being involved in an auto accident is terrifying and can cause significant financial burdens to you and your family. Arkansas law allows accident victims to collect specific types of compensation after an accident and contacting an experienced attorney can help.
With eight offices conveniently located throughout Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock – Main Office, Little Rock – Corp Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Bryant, and Memphis—our accident lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you are injured. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 434-4800 and tell us your story.