You can find websites with online accident claim calculators and formulas to calculate the potential value of your accident claim. Some websites just give you the standard formula typically used by insurance companies while more advanced websites actually give you a calculator where you can put in your injury, medical bills and other losses and it will calculate a range of settlement values. How accurate are these websites? For an accident claim in Texas, they are not particularly accurate. If you have been in a wreck then you should talk to a lawyer about your claim. An online calculator can only provide generic information.
Texas personal injury attorney and formulas used by online claim calculators
These websites use a fairly standard formula, which is the same one generally used by insurance companies to value claims. The formula is:
Pain multiplier x medical bills + lost income
The pain multiplier ranges from 1-10 based upon the severity of the injury. An injury consisting of limited pain or short term limited movement may only be 1.5-3 pain multipliers, while a more serious injury, such as a broken bone may be 3-5 and so on. While the formula seems very simple, insurance companies modify the formula greatly to determine a final number. They may reject some of the medical bills or apply an inappropriately low pain multiplier. Insurance companies often lowball initial settlement offers, especially where the injured individual lacks legal representation.
Often people trying to make their own calculations will apply too high of a pain multiplier and believe they should receive an insurance settlement far above what the insurer would ever be willing to pay. It’s a natural response to believe your pain deserves more money but the insurance company is unlikely to agree. If the insurer will not make an agreeable offer, you will have to decide to accept a lower settlement or filing suit (or hiring a lawyer to file suit).
Negotiating with insurance companies in Texas
Insurance companies in Texas are not afraid to go to court, even on smaller claims. They believe injured people would rather accept less money than hire a lawyer to negotiate and litigate claims. That also often drives down the settlement offers the insurance company will offer you. If they know you do not have representation the claims adjusters know they can lowball you and play fast and loose with the facts to get you to agree to a far lower number. The result of these manipulations by insurance companies is an objective, straight-forward calculation ends up being of little value. The best way to understand the value of your claim and negotiate a reasonable settlement is to obtain a lawyer.
Personal injury attorneys understand how to assess the facts and law that applies to car wrecks and other legal situations in Texas. Pursuing claims without the help of an attorney can often result in less favorable outcomes.