A lot of clients who meet with our car accident lawyers in Marietta assume the insurance company will only pay for medical bills and damage to their car. But your attorney can also demand compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and more if your case qualifies.
We’ll explore what types of compensation your accident attorney can demand in your insurance claim.
What Can Your Car Accident Lawyer Include in a Settlement Demand?
Your attorney will outline the damages you’re seeking in the demand letter they send to the insurance company. In most of the car accident cases we handle, our lawyers demand some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
Medical Bills and Future Medical Bills
In almost all car accident cases, our attorneys demand compensation for medical bills. This includes any medical bills you paid out-of-pocket. It also includes any bills your health insurance company already paid.
In addition, your accident lawyer will also demand compensation for future medical bills. If your injuries are serious, there’s a chance you’ll need future medical care. For example, if you’re going to need additional surgeries over the next few years, the defendant should be responsible for the costs of those surgeries.
Lost Wages and Lost Future Income
If you missed any time from work due to the accident, you could demand reimbursement for lost wages. You would include these damages if you missed more than a week from work. The defendant’s lawyer will argue that you could’ve used personal or vacation time for the first few days.
Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may also be entitled to damages for lost future income. If you can no longer do the same kind of work you did before the crash, you should be fairly compensated.
Obviously, if your vehicle is damaged or destroyed in the accident, your lawyer will demand compensation. These damages will include any money you spent on repairs.
If your vehicle is totaled in the crash, your Marietta accident attorney can demand the fair market value for the car or SUV. You cannot expect to be paid enough to buy a brand-new car.
You can only demand the value of the car at the time of the crash. This is usually determined using the Kelley Blue Book.
Pain and Suffering
Most of our clients include a demand for pain and suffering in their insurance claims. This is meant to compensate you for any mental or physical anguish you suffered as a result of the crash.
Your accident attorney will have to prove these damages. You can’t just say that you experienced a lot of pain or anxiety. Your lawyer will have to submit proof, such as statements from experts like your doctors, and counselors. Your attorney can also use a statement from you about your own pain and suffering.
Insurance companies often use one of two methods when determining how much to pay for pain and suffering.
The multiplier approach takes the total of your economic damages like medical bills and multiplies it by a number, which is usually between 1.5 and 5. The more severe your injuries, the higher the multiplier number used.
The per diem method, named after the Latin “per day,” multiplies a daily rate by the number of days you suffer pain and discomfort from your injury. The daily rate is usually the wages you earn each day.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
There’s always the chance that the insurance company won’t pay your claim. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as:
- The other driver’s policy wasn’t valid.
- You didn’t submit the requisite documentation.
- The insurance adjuster thinks you caused the crash.
- The insurance company thinks you’re exaggerating your injuries.
- You have a history of filing auto insurance claims.
Your accident lawyer can appeal the denial.
Your Accident Attorney Can File Suit if Need Be
If your appeal is not successful, you have the option to sue the other driver personally for damages. If you do this, your accident attorney will have to serve a copy of the complaint to the insurance company as well.
The insurance carrier is legally required to represent the defendant in the lawsuit. This means that they’ll be the ones to negotiate a settlement with your attorney. If there’s any way to do this without having to file suit, it’s better for everybody involved.
What If Your Losses Exceed the Policy Limits?
An insurance company will not agree to settle an accident claim for more than the driver’s policy limits. If your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limits, your attorney can take them to court. But it might be years before you receive any money this way. Plus, there is a risk you could lose in court and walk away with nothing.
That’s why uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is so important, it allows your policy to cover medical bills and physical damages in excess of what the other driver’s policy would cover.
Meet With an Experienced Marietta Accident Attorney
If you or your family member were hurt in a car accident, you should contact our office. Our team of experienced accident lawyers in Marietta will help you file your insurance claim. They’ll also help you file suit if need be.
The Weinstein Firm has a proven track record of obtaining millions of dollars in settlements for clients. Contact our office at 770-HELP-NOW today and schedule your free, initial consultation.