How Accurate Are Car Accident Settlement Calculators?
If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you might be wondering how much of the damage will be covered by insurance. One common resource for an answer is an online car accident settlement calculator. How accurate are these calculators, though? Let’s take a look at how settlement calculators work and how to interpret the results.
Good for Coverage Estimates
Online settlement calculators are useful for determining coverage estimates, but they have no bearing on any real-life insurance settlement you might receive. These calculators have no standard data source and rely on user input to generate a query against varying data sources of past settlement payments by insurance companies. These sources may or may not be reliable.
The integrity of a car accident damage calculator depends in part on what information you’re able to enter, its data source for damage estimates, and whether the calculator accounts for different variables in your situation.
Your Car’s Total Value
Online settlement calculators frequently ask for vehicle information as well as damage details from your accident to produce an estimate of your car’s repair or replacement cost. The calculator may or may not consider aspects like your car’s initial value, depreciation, current condition, mileage, and other considerations that affect what your vehicle is worth. A calculator’s vehicle repair or replacement estimates may not always take vehicle-specific costs into account, either, or only present average prices for certain types of repairs.
Injury Valuation Projections
Calculating damages for injuries sustained in an accident, like determining damage to your vehicle, relies on data sources with set costs for certain types of injuries. The basis for the payout estimate is an average settlement amount for similar injuries. What’s problematic with injury estimates of this type is the difficulty of assessing the value of a working right arm, for example.
The impact on daily life from injuries sustained in an auto accident can affect people differently, too. Losing the use of one’s hands affects a musician’s livelihood and emotional well-being in ways some of us can only imagine. While the same injury would be equally severe to anyone else as far as its effect on daily living, the injury valuations would likely be significantly different because of the affected earning capacity of the musician.
Compensating for Subjectivity
Estimates for property damage and medical treatment are difficult to calculate, but more nebulous aspects of a claim like pain and suffering are even more challenging to measure. Experiences of pain, suffering, and personal injuries are highly subjective and vary widely.
A car accident settlement calculator compensates for these variables by using multipliers. In other words, the medical expenses entered in a damage calculator are simply multiplied by a set number, usually ranging from 1.5 to 5. The assumption is that higher medical debt equates to more pain and suffering, which may be true, but certainly ignores a myriad of other variables. This lack of precision is one of the primary reasons to be suspicious of the results coming from a settlement calculator.
Car accident settlement calculators should be considered unreliable due to their lack of precision in factoring in all the details for your settlement. They gather insufficient information to calculate the amount of your claim reliably but are generally useful for estimates.
Need Help with Your Car Accident Settlement? Call Us Today
If you recently suffered injuries in a Phoenix auto accident, an experienced personal injury attorney will provide more accurate claim estimates than any online calculator. Our attorneys know what questions to ask and how the details from your answers apply to an estimate of damages.
Our skilled car accident attorneys have experience dealing with the local courts and insurance companies, which all lends itself to providing better claim estimates.
Call the Folger Law Firm today at (602) 774-0033 to learn more about how we can help you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries. Pain, suffering, lost wages, and permanent disability are some of the many consequences of auto accidents. You deserve legal representation that follows through and gets results in your injury claim.
Our team can successfully represent your interests when dealing with insurance claims and civil litigation. Call us today for a confidential, free consultation to review the details of your claim.