In 2017, car accidents injured more than 250,000 people and caused 3,700 fatalities in Texas. That’s more than 250,000 people wondering what to do next and how much their personal injury case might be worth. Many of these people turn to online settlement calculators that promise to estimate their damages with just a few simple clicks of a button.
However, there are many non-quantifiable figures involved in calculating a settlement. Online settlement calculators at best offer a very rough approximation, and at worse could provide you with an estimate that is nowhere near what your case is actually worth.
Only an experienced personal injury attorney can provide an accurate estimation of your potential settlement amount. But why are online calculators so imprecise? Keep reading to learn how these calculators work and why you can’t count on them to correctly estimate your settlement.
How Do Settlement Calculators Work?
To begin, let’s look at what these online calculators are attempting to calculate. There are two main considerations when you estimate a settlement. First are your economic damages, which are the physical expenses incurred from the accident. An online settlement calculator will ask you to enter a few figures pertaining to past or future expenses to calculate these damages. They may ask for:
- Medical Bills and Expenses
- Property Damages
- Lost Wages
- Future Lost Income and Earning Capacity
- Future Medical Expenses
Second, the calculator tries to determine your non-economic damages, which involves placing a monetary value on the pain and suffering that you experienced due to the car wreck. They might ask you to rate your pain and suffering on a scale of 1.5 – 5. This rating will be multiplied against one of your expenses to approximate your non-economic damages.
“For an accurate estimation of your potential compensation, you will need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.”
RELATED ARTICLE: How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering Compensation for Injuries?
Why Personal Injury Calculators Don’t Work
It is nearly impossible to accurately calculate your own damages in a personal injury claim. You may not anticipate all of your future medical treatment and overestimate your ability to work. Further, neither insurance adjusters or car accident attorneys choose an arbitrary pain and suffering multiplier and tack it onto your damages. Instead, they carefully evaluate the facts and consider the amount of coverage that applies to your claim. In other words, before the calculator even analyzes anything, there is already a huge margin of error.
The next problem is the equations that online calculators use. They cannot gauge the severity of your injuries, the strengths and weaknesses of your legal claims, and your unique circumstances. This means that a settlement calculator’s equations are arbitrary and carry no real authority. For an accurate estimation of your potential compensation, you will need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Why Attorney Calculations Are More Accurate
An experienced personal injury attorney can estimate your damages more accurately using their experience with similar cases and a variety of other specific factors that cannot be analyzed by an online settlement calculator.
Your attorney will investigate the case thoroughly and ask detailed and situationally unique questions. Some relevant factors and figures they will examine include:
- How expert witnesses may strengthen your claims and explain your injuries
- Texas’ modified comparative negligence laws
- Damage caps, when applicable
- The availability of punitive damages
- How many insurance policies cover your claim
- At-fault parties’ financial resources
- Compensation and rulings on similar local cases
- Their experience with the insurer or insurance adjuster involved in your case
An attorney may also consult with experts that can estimate your future medical needs, wage-earning capacity, and long-term care needs. When they determine the value of your claim, it will be based on all of this evidence, information, and legal analysis. An online accident settlement calculator can’t provide this kind of nuanced and careful analysis.
However, a personal injury attorney won’t just evaluate your claim’s settlement value. They will also fight for you, negotiate with the insurance company, strengthen your claim with additional evidence, and even take your case to trial if needed. An online calculator will just consider the numbers you type in and churn out a random dollar amount. An online calculator will just consider the numbers you type in and churn out a random dollar amount.
Crosley Law: Get an Accurate Settlement Estimate for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Don’t rely on an online settlement calculator to estimate your damages. At Crosley Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate the specific nuances of your case and provide an accurate estimation of your potential settlement compensation.
Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2017. (2018, April). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https:// ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2017/01.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.