Do Online Settlement Calculators Give Accurate Results?
Many crash victims may use an online claim settlement calculator to help them find out how much their case could be worth. After trying multiple online calculators, however, victims may begin to wonder why the estimates on these sites vary so much. At High Stakes Injury Law, we can tell you that these calculators are worthless. They do not factor in liability, preexisting injuries, vehicle damages, insurance limits and other things that affect the value of a claim. Our knowledgeable auto accident lawyers in Las Vegas have extensive experience calculating the values of damages claims. We are consistently accurate in our calculations because we consider every relevant factor, including the many critical elements a programmed calculator is unable to include. Contact our trusted law firm today to discuss what your claim may be worth.
What Are the Biggest Problems of Online Settlement Calculators?There are several problems with online settlement calculators, which is why they will always provide grossly inaccurate calculations.
Online Calculators Cannot Factor in LiabilityThis matters because liability is the key to any successful injury claim. If there is no liability, there is no case, regardless how badly someone has been injured. In fact, a person could have catastrophic injuries, but if liability cannot be established or is weak, it can negatively impact the value of a claim. Insurance limits are another thing that online calculators do not and cannot factor into the potential value of a claim. For example, an injured victim could have a claim with medical costs that are valued at $1 million or more. However, if there is only $25,000 of available insurance coverage, the claim is not worth the $1 million.
Economic Damages Will Not Be AccurateEconomic damages are the tangible damages related to your crash. People believe calculating these values is as easy as adding up all your saved paystubs, invoices from medical bills and vehicle repair costs. However, this is not true for a couple of reasons:
- No two sites ask you for the same details
- No site includes every detail
- Critical elements that impact your total value are left out
- Vehicle damages: Even if you add the total cost of your repairs, the diminished value of your vehicle is not factored in as a loss. Even after being fully repaired, your vehicle will never regain its full pre-crash value. It is also important to note that the amount of property damage impacts what the insurance company thinks about the severity of your injuries and whether proposed medical treatment is reasonable.
- Preexisting damages: In addition to new injuries, victims may also have a preexisting injury or condition that becomes worse due to the impact of a crash. The cost for treating these preexisting injuries should be factored into the value of a claim, along with the victim’s new injuries. However, this is yet another important consideration left out of any online calculation app.
No Two Online Claim Settlement Calculators Are the SameOnline settlement calculators are not equal because there are no standards for how they are created. The details you enter on each site are different, and the programmed algorithm also varies from one calculator app to another. No matter which online calculator you use, there are critical details left out.
What About Pain and Suffering?Pain and suffering may be included in some online calculations. However, damages are very subjective and, as such, differ drastically from one case to another. The damages are unique to each crash and especially the individual. Some examples:
- Emotional distress or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – emotional damages affect victims very differently. For some people, PTSD is so bad after a crash they are unable to work at all. However, other victims may only need some short-term therapy to help them recover.
- Disfiguration or scarring – these damages also fall under pain and suffering. Some victims may face life-long disfiguration and scarring, such as when a victim gets severely burned. Other victims may have a smaller burn area that can may require surgery but which has a better long-term outcome.
Other Reasons Claim Settlement Calculators Are WrongThe reality is that all online claim settlement calculators are incapable of providing an accurate value of your claim. The process of determining the accurate value of a claim is complicated for many reasons:
- Each victim may recover differently based on genetics and/or health at the time of injury
- Pain and suffering damages are subjective and need to be considered on a more personal level
- The type, extent and severity of an injury
- The impact of an injury based on an individual’s career – losing an arm as a mechanic may be significantly more damaging to a career than to someone in sales
- After surgery, one victim may totally recover while another may still need ongoing treatment
- Even with property damages, the make, model, age and condition of a vehicle at the time of a crash can affect its value
Why Are Claim Values Provided by an Attorney More Accurate?An experienced attorney knows not only what factors should be considered when determining the value of a claim, but also when to calculate them. For instance, trying to calculate medical costs before the injured victim reaches the maximum medical improvement (MMI) point is a bad idea. An attorney knows that waiting for a victim’s MMI is critical to accurately calculating:
- Long-term, future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- And more
Attorneys Consider How Liability Impacts a Claim’s ValueA knowledgeable attorney will also investigate your crash, examine your medical records and consult with a medical expert. Your attorney will also consider other important factors, such as liability for the crash. For instance, your attorney will examine:
- The causal connection between an accident and an injury, which may be determined by how soon after an accident the injured party sought treatment. The longer a victim waits to seek medical care after a crash, the harder it is to link those injuries to a crash. This can weaken a victim’s claim.
- How badly the vehicle was damaged – If a car sustains extensive damages, it helps to convince a jury that a victim’s injuries were severe, and the medical treatment received was both reasonable and necessary.
- Preexisting injuries also play a major role – These injuries are separate from new injuries. They may require additional treatment and added pain and suffering.