For those who have become injured in a car accident, the most obvious next step for many is to seek financial compensation. Many factors will go into determining the best course of action to recover the money you are owed for the injuries you endured. In some cases, you may bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company, while other times this may not be necessary. In order to improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve, it is recommended for most individuals to enlist the services and legal guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in car accident cases. For Houstonians, you will want to work with a local attorney who is familiar with cases in the Greater Houston area.
One of the most common questions individuals have after being involved in an accident is: How much money will I get? Of course, there is no blanket answer for a question like this because there is a long list of variables that go into determining the overall compensation an individual will get. This will include the severity of property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Working with an experienced attorney, such as Attorney Caruthers, can help you to factor in all of these costs and come up with an amount you wish to seek in your specific case.
With all of that taken into account, in most cases, victims of car accident cases can generally expect anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 for the injuries they have endured. In some cases, the amount of compensation awarded may greatly exceed this amount, however, this is a more common range.
Damages Overview: Special and General Damages
To understand how the multiplier method works, you first need to understand what kinds of damages (monetary compensation for harm) are typically available after a car accident. Car accident damages can mostly be grouped as “special” (often called economic) and “general” (or non-economic). (Punitive damages are rarely available in car accident cases.)
Special damages are financial losses related to the accident. Common categories of special damages include:
- the cost of medical treatment (past and future)
- the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, and
- lost wages and earning capacity.
- General Damages
General damages are non-monetary losses. They tend to be much harder to calculate than special damages because they are more subjective. General damages can include:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress, and
- lowered quality of life (loss of enjoyment).
The “Multiplier” Method
Given the insurance industry’s obsession with statistics, and the fact that there were approximately 6,756,000 traffic crashes in 2019, you might assume that there’s a universal formula to determine the value of a car accident claim. But no two car accident claims are exactly the same. So, instead of a universal formula, insurance adjusters rely on the multiplier method to estimate the value of a claim and kick off settlement negotiations.
The Multiplier Method Formula
In this kind of calculation, the adjuster:
- totals up the car accident claimant’s medical bills stemming from the accident (sometimes called “medical special damages”)
- multiplies that number by a certain factor (typically between 1 and 5) to get an estimated value of the claimant’s harder-to-quantify general damages (like pain and suffering), and
- adds the medical special damages, estimated general damages, and any lost earnings and future lost income together to arrive at an overall estimate of the car accident claim.
Factors That Can Raise or Lower the Multiplier
As you can imagine, deciding which multiplier is right for your case will likely be a point of contention between you and the insurance adjuster. You’ll argue for a higher multiplier (like a 4 or 5), while the adjuster is likely to push for a lower multiplier.
Factors that can raise or lower the multiplier in a car accident claim, include:
- the seriousness of your injuries (low medical bills tend to lead to a lower multiplier)
- clear evidence of pain and suffering documented by a medical professional
- the amount of proof that the other driver was at fault for the accident, and
- the length (and extent) of your recovery.
Adjusters will also ask:
- Was your injury completely new as a result of the car accident, or did the car accident merely aggravate a condition for which you were already being treated?
- Did you seek medical attention immediately after the car accident? Or did you first complain to your doctor about your symptoms three months after the accident?
- Was your treatment excessive? Insurance companies rarely attach the full value of medical expenses in the areas of chiropractic treatment or physical therapy if the adjuster believes the length of treatment might be excessive.
Spanish Speaking Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston
Spanish-speaking Houstonians can have a more complex of a time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
We make it simple for individuals who have been injured due to the actions of others to navigate the legal system in order to get the results they need to continue on in their lives. Schedule your no-obligation car accident consultation with Attorney Caruthers today. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your needs are being met and that you are getting the treatment you deserve in your car accident case. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you call the more we can do to get you results.
Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.