Don't Fall For The Personal Injury Settlement Calculator Scam
Don't Be Scammed By A Personal Injury Settlement Calculator
After you’ve been injured in an accident, one of the first things you probably want to know is how much your personal injury case is worth. You might think the best way to get an estimate is to search Google for a “Personal Injury Settlement Calculator.” But here’s the truth: Settlement calculators don’t exist. At least, not in the way you think they do. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Personal Injury Settlement Calculators?
A personal injury calculator is a tool that is supposed to help you estimate the value of your personal injury case. You enter in some information about your accident and injuries, and the calculator spits out a number that is supposedly the value of your case.
Except there’s one big problem: a personal injury calculator doesn’t exist. They’re made up by marketing companies as a way to get your contact information, which they then sell to lawyers.
The “personal injury calculators” start with basic questions about your personal injury accident such as when you were injured, how you were injured, if you’ve seen doctor, etc. Then they ask for your name, phone number, and email address.
So if you’re looking for a personal injury calculator, you’re not going to find one that is actually going to give you an accurate estimate of your personal injury case value.
Instead of receiving an estimate of your case’s value, you will receive a message that a lawyer will contact you. The marketing companies then forward your contact information to a personal injury law firm that you don’t have any information on.
Does This Also Apply To Other Settlement Calculators?
Yes, it doesn’t matter if the website advertises that they have a car accident settlement calculator, pain and suffering calculator, or any other type of injury calculator. They simply don’t exist.
Every single personal injury claim is unique. It’s impossible for an injured party to enter a few facts about how the accident occurred, the amount of medical expenses they incurred for medical treatment, and their lost wages and magically come up with a dollar value that’s anywhere close to accurate.
Why Do People Try To Use A Personal Injury Calculator?
The simple answer is that most people aren’t involved in accidents on a regular basis, and they’re just curious about how much compensation they can receive from injury cases. Most People also want to know some guidance and to know which steps they should take next.
What Should You Do Instead Of Searching For A Settlement Calculator?
The best thing you can do after you’ve been injured in an accident is to talk to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. A good lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and give you a better idea of how much your accident case may be worth. And even if you don’t end up working with that lawyer, at least you’ll have a better understanding of your legal options and where you should go from there.
Personal Injury Consultations Are Always Free
Allbee Law Firm provides free consultations to all personal injury victims. We are similar to a personal injury calculator to some degree because we will ask you about your accident, but we’ll give you clear guidance on whether you have a personal injury case that can be pursued and how you will benefit from hiring our personal injury law firm.
We'll Try To Help Point You In The Right Direction
If for some reason, you have a type of case that we don’t handle, we’ll do our best to help you find another attorney who might be able to help you.
It doesn’t happen very often, but there are some personal injury cases where you don’t need a lawyer. If that’s the situation, we’ll do our best to provide some guidance and point you in the right direction. Our law firm is committed to helping personal injury victims, but we also like to help people in general.
How Does A Personal Injury Lawyer
Calculate A Personal Injury
To figure out the true value of a personal injury case, you actually have to start at “the end.” Even though most cases don’t go to trial, settlement values are typically based on what an actual jury will award a personal injury victim.
When a case goes to court, the jury will review the evidence and hear testimony that helps them consider the following ways that you can be compensated:
Economic Damages (Special Damages)
Property Damage To Your Vehicle
Calculating the replacement cost or cost of repairs for a vehicle car that was in a car accident is relatively straightforward. Car parts have a set price and so do labor costs for car repairs. Under Texas law, you’re allowed to receive compensation for damage to your vehicle if it was caused by a negligent driver. Usually, a payment will be issued to the body shop or you will be paid the replacement value of your car if it’s deemed to be a “total loss.”
You have a legal right to receive compensation for medical bills incurred by you if they are for reasonable and necessary medical treatment. Reasonable medical treatment can include being transported in an ambulance, an ER visit to the hospital, chiropractic care, physical therapy, imaging such as x-rays and MRIs, pain management, and a variety of other types of medical care.
Compensation for medical bills includes medical expenses that have been incurred in the past as well as medical bills for medical treatment that will be incurred in the future.
In order to be compensated for future medical bills, you will need to have evidence to back up your claim. This is when it’s helpful to have a qualified medical professional write a report that includes the procedure or treatment you will need as well as a breakdown of your estimated future medical expenses. The insurance company will not even consider your estimated future medical expenses unless it’s backed by evidence.
Lost Wages (Lost Income)
A person who has a car accident or other type of injury claim can’t just decide to take a vacation from work and expect to have an insurance company pay them for the missed work. However, an injured person can receive compensation for their lost earnings if there’s evidence that they were injured due to the negligence of another person and their injuries prevent them from working.
An insurance company will want to see documentation of your lost income. Sometimes they will want to see paycheck stubs, W-2s, or tax returns. Make sure your records are in order and make sure you’ve discussed your ability to not work with your doctor so that’s in your medical records otherwise, you may see a decrease in your case’s settlement value.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Some people’s injuries are so severe that they will never be able to return to the job they had before they were injured. Sometimes, these people will have to take a lower-paying job or not be able to work at all. Loss of earning capacity is a way to compensate someone for future lost earnings. There must be evidence that the future lost wages will likely be incurred, so it’s important to work with a doctor that’s able to document the full extent of your injury and the fact that the future lost income will likely be incurred.
Non-Economic Damages (General Damages)
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to calculate because everyone experiences physical pain and suffering differently. It’s important to realize that a person can be compensated for past pain and suffering as well as future pain and suffering. Keep in mind that damages are paid based on evidence, so it’s important to document your pain and suffering while you’re experiencing it.
Disfigurement And Scarring
The size, type, and location of a scar will impact a case’s settlement amount. Other factors, such as the age of the injured person, their type of employment, and if the scar will improve over time will have a direct impact on the financial and legal analysis that is done by an insurance company.
For example, an insurance adjuster will compensate a 50-year-old man who has half inch scar on the bottom of his foot, but the same insurance adjuster will pay a much higher settlement amount to a 15-year-old girl who has a large scar on her cheek. A professional model would also receive a higher final settlement if they now had a visible scar that impacts their modeling career.
Emotional injuries are different from physical injuries, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A person who experiences emotional suffering is legally allowed to receive compensation for emotional distress. Car accidents can definitely cause emotional trauma and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Yes, seeking psychological help can potentially increase your settlement amount, but that’s not the main reason you should seek help if you are experiencing emotional pain or mental anguish.
Emotional trauma is very real and can have a very severe impact on your personal life if it’s not addressed quickly. Never hesitate to ask for help if the trauma caused by your accident is weighing you down.
Loss of Consortium
When you understand what loss of consortium is, you start to understand that a settlement calculator will never be accurate in predicting personal injury damages. Loss of consortium is intended to provide some degree of compensation for surviving family members in a wrongful death case or a case involving life-altering injuries.
Loss of consortium and loss of companionship consider the impact that a severe injury or wrongful death has on a surviving spouse, child, and parent. A jury, and likewise the insurance company, will look at the relationships between the deceased and the surviving family members and how they’ve been impacted due to severe injuries or death. The degree of closeness, the ages of the people involved, y will look to see how the deceased person was involved in their family members’ lives before they died. They will also look at the frequency of
A pain and suffering calculator couldn’t even begin to calculate the value of a daughter who can’t enjoy the first dance at her wedding with her dad because he’s confined to a wheelchair because an accident occurred. And even worse, a pain and suffering calculator would never be able to come up with an estimated settlement value for a daughter whose dad was unable to walk her down the aisle at her wedding because his life was taken prematurely by a negligent driver.
You can’t truly put a dollar value on a person’s life. And anyone with at least half a brain knows that family members of injury and wrongful death victims would rather just have their loved one “back to normal.” However, these complicated issues, and many more, are taken into consideration when an insurance company attempts to determine the general damages in cases involving a wrongful death or an injury claim that involves severe injuries.
Factors Considered In Loss Of Consortium Claims
Juries and most insurance companies will attempt to understand the following relationship details when trying to come up with a “dollar value” and determine the general damages incurred for personal injury claims involving loss of consortium:
- The strength of the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The life expectancy of the wife, parent, and child
- How the marriage or parent/child relationship is impacted by the injury
- The severity of the injury
- Financial support that the surviving family members have lost
- The impact on sexual intimacy
- The types of services or tasks that the loved one helped with around the house and on a regular basis
- Loss of friendship and companionship
- Other losses that impact the lives of surviving family members
Additional Factors That Can Impact The Value Of Your Settlement Claim
Besides the different forms of compensation, there are a few other factors that can impact your case’s settlement value.
The Amount Of Insurance Coverage That Is Available
In Texas, drivers are required to have auto insurance that will cover up to $30,000 for injuries sustained by one person with a total of $60,000 per accident. Most people have the minimum amount of insurance coverage, which becomes a major problem with auto accidents involving death, catastrophic injuries, or multiple people.
For example, if a person loses their life in a car accident and the negligent driver only has a $30,000/$60,000 car insurance policy, the person’s recovery will likely be limited to $30,000.
Likewise, if a negligent person injures 20 people in a major multi-car accident on a snowy day, each person involved in that insurance claim would be limited to $5,000 each if all things are equal.
It’s very important to understand that a legal claim can be limited based on the amount of insurance coverage that is available.
There are a few exceptions where additional insurance coverage may be involved, but that’s not something you can always count on.
Liability - Is It Clear Who Was At Fault?
Settlement negotiations will be significantly impacted if the insurance company believes you are at least partially to blame for causing the accident. This is because juries will reduce the amount you receive in a jury verdict based on how much you were at fault.
If a jury awards you $50,000, but they also believe that you are 25% at fault for the accident, you will have the $50,000 reduced by $12,500, which is 25% of the total verdict amount. Insurance companies will also do the same during the negotiation process if they feel that you are at least partially to blame regardless of the severity of your injuries.
Most Important - How Did The Accident Impact Your Life
People often say, “I should’ve been a lawyer. I’m good at arguing.” Experienced personal injury lawyers know that advocating for our injured clients is about so much more than just arguing.
First of all, winning an injury case is more like a very long game of chase. You have to be thinking multiple moves ahead of your opponent. You also have to always ask yourself, “How is a jury going to view this?” because that will determine the amount of your personal injury settlement or verdict.
Throwing your medical records and expenses in front of a jury will only get you so far. We believe the attorney-client relationship is crucial in every case. We want to truly understand the impact that your injuries have had on your life because we want to present your case to a jury or insurance adjuster in a way that allows them to FEEL your story.
An injury settlement calculator won’t be able to understand how a person couldn’t hold their newborn baby because they were in too much pain. Nor will it be able to calculate plans that had to be changed at the last minute, additional burdens and tasks that had to be carried by a spouse because you were no longer able to help as much as you wanted to, events that you missed due to pain or the inconvenience of fitting doctors visits into your already busy life.
We Are Here To Help. Call For A Free Consultation
The insurance company will view you as a claim number and a business expense from the moment you set up your insurance claim. If you contact Allbee Law Firm to seek legal advice regarding a car accident case or any other type of personal injury claim, you quickly see that we are people persons.
When you call Allbee Law Firm, you will have a chance to speak, for free, with a lawyer who truly cares about helping people. After hearing about your accident and injuries, we will explain your legal options and try to help you determine what will benefit you and your family the most. Call (817) 244-6453 if you believe your injuries involve more than a few pieces of data that can be entered into a bogus injury calculator.