When the site AccidentValues was first created, we were originally thinking it was going to be primarily for car and truck accidents. This makes sense – the calculator was designed to heighten the practice for an accident lawyer. It was seen that the way to do that was to put the visitor first. Tell the visitor what he or she really wants to know and only secondarily worry about him or her actually becoming a client.
The Calculator’s Uses
However, people have used the calculator not just for car and truck accidents, but for numerous other personal injuries as well. Though it was designed around accidents, it has value for other personal injury as well. Therefore, it functions to some degree as a:
- Personal Injury Calculator
- Injury Calculator
- Settlement Calculator
- Insurance Adjuster Calculator
- Pain and Suffering Calculator
Ultimately, personal injury claims, cases, settlements and lawsuits generally come from a similar standpoint – compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and for pain and suffering. There are other factors, but let’s call these the three main ones. These exist in accidents, slip and fall cases, medical malpractice, and premises liability. A similar mental framework is used by personal injury lawyers, no matter how the actual injury might have been caused. Hence why the calculator has other uses.
The Value Assigned by an Adjuster
The site is being used by lots of people who are negotiating against insurance adjusters. While I’m glad people are figuring out that the insurance company might not be offering what the case is worth, that concept certainly makes me nervous as a PI lawyer. Ultimately, as an individual, negotiating against an insurance company without a lawyer is like going into the ring with a prizefighter with one arm tied behind your back. Unless you are going to file a lawsuit, you have limited negotiation leverage. Conversely, if the initial adjuster is not able to settle the case, he or she can kick it upstairs to have another adjuster take a shot. If the case won’t settle, no problem. The insurance company simply won’t pay. They’ll wait for you to take some kind of action. The second you have a lawyer negotiating, the case likely goes to a different adjuster – one who tries to smooth things over with lawyers instead of one who bullies injured people. Once lawyer files a lawsuit, the insurance company simply gets their army of lawyers on the case. The system has been designed against you.
So, yes, I’m glad people can begin to get an idea of what their accident case is worth. However, I hope I’m also conveying that having an accident or personal injury lawyer is really the way to go. A case often only has the value that various calculator project if, in fact, a lawyer is obtained. The calculator at AccidentValues and most on the web do factor pain and suffering, as well as medical costs. Not all factor the value of lost wages, which is an important piece of the equation.
“How Much” Often Depends on the Lawyer
Please understand, rightly or wrongly, how much is my case worth is usually actually two different questions. A case might be worth X with a good lawyer on board, and worth Y without.
Value or “how much” is dependent on an adjuster formula. Depending upon which insurance company, this value might even change by how much the lawyer takes trials to court and how much he simply settles them. Yes, many insurance companies actually keep statistics.