If you have been injured in an auto accident and are considering filing an insurance or legal claim, it’s important to understand what your case is potentially worth.

Before going ahead with a lawsuit and all its associated expenses, you should consider how the value of your claim will be calculated to get an idea of its potential value.

Medical Bills

First, gather up all of your medical bills to date, relating to the auto accident.

This may include expenses for emergency care and ongoing treatment such as doctor visits and physical therapy. Be sure to include any other medical costs you may have incurred, such as for medication, crutches or bandages.

If continuing care will be necessary, future expenses should also be considered in your legal claim. Keep in mind that the insurance company may challenge the amount you claim, so it is important to keep accurate records.

Property Damage

Almost every auto accident results in property damage of some type.

The insurance company will typically evaluate the cost of necessary repairs for your vehicle and make an offer for settlement. If repair costs are deemed to be excessive, your car will be declared a total loss and you will be offered the actual cash value.

This figure is typically based upon what it would cost to purchase a similar vehicle, with an amount subtracted to consider your vehicle’s age, mileage and the degree of wear and tear.

Damages for Lost Income and Pain and Suffering

A serious auto accident may cause you to miss time at work or leave you unable to work at all.

Your claim should include compensation for this lost income. The loss of future earning ability also should be considered, particularly if you will no longer be able to earn as much money as you did before.

The value of your pain and suffering can be somewhat subjective.

In many cases, an amount to compensate you for emotional distress is calculated by rating the severity of your injuries. This number is then multiplied by the amount paid out in medical expenses to arrive at an dollar figure for pain and suffering.

Idaho’s Comparative Fault Rule

Were you at fault in any way for your auto accident? If so, the amount you can recover for damages in your legal claim could be affected.

Idaho has a comparative fault rule that says that the responsibility for an accident must be shared among any parties who contributed to the collision. No absolute rule determines the amount of each driver’s liability, however.

You may have to convince the insurance adjuster — or the judge or jury, if your case goes to trial — of your lack of fault by presenting evidence.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the ins and outs of your claim and assist you in negotiating a fair settlement. If you have been involved in an auto accident, schedule a consultation with the experienced professionals at the Montgomery Dowdle in Boise.

We will provide a free consultation to evaluate your circumstances, and help you determine the value of your auto accident case.