Online Settlement Calculators: Convenient but Inaccurate
November 18, 2021
Many car crash victims are unsure what their claims may be worth. In fact, many victims underestimate the value of their claims, thinking their injuries may not be too bad.
Unfortunately, many victims may feel unsure about talking to an attorney, so they look elsewhere for guidance. For example, they may use an online car crash settlement calculator.
While there is nothing wrong with doing your own research, it is a bad idea to make decisions based on the figures from an online calculator. Although these tools may be simple to use, they will not give you an accurate picture of the full value of your case.
Insurance companies often do not provide an accurate estimate of a claim’s value either. Victims with questions about their cases should seriously consider meeting with an experienced attorney.
At Phillips Law Group, meeting with a Phoenix-based car crash lawyer is free, and you are not obligated to hire our firm if we validate your claim. In fact, there are no upfront costs or fees while we work on your case. That means there is no financial risk in calling our firm to learn how we may be able to help you.
Details That are Often Missed by Online Calculators
No two injury claims are the same. Even if two people are diagnosed with the same injury, both claims may have different values. There is no telling how someone will respond to treatment or how much someone may heal.
For example, two people could be diagnosed with a herniated disc. However, one victim may have a preexisting condition or a genetic predisposition to spinal cord problems. The other victim may not have these issues, but he or she may have a different body type that could impact the severity of the injury.
One may get surgery and the procedure may be highly successful. The victim may make close to a full recovery and not need much ongoing treatment. Surgery might not be possible for the other victim, resulting in the need for long-term care. These and other factors could increase or even decrease the value of a claim.
There is no way for a calculator to consider things like this. It will just ask you to put in a number for future medical costs. This is something that should be done by an experienced attorney who can consider the specifics of your situation. He or she may also be able to consult with medical and economic experts to get a better idea of the long-term effects of an injury.
Value of Pain and Suffering
Online calculators often do a poor job of calculating the value of pain and suffering. They may assign an arbitrary number to these damages based on your medical expenses. However, calculators may assume a victim’s pain and suffering is worth more simply because he or she has significant medical expenses. This is not always the case. Some victims have fewer medical bills than others but still have significant pain and suffering.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Another factor to consider is loss of earning capacity. How well can an online calculator determine the value of these damages? Can it consider your education, skills, earnings history and other factors?
The answer is no, it cannot. This is a critical flaw because if you are unable to work, cannot work nearly as much as before, or you must work in a different field, you may earn much less than you did before. You need compensation to support yourself and your family. The injury was not your fault, and you deserve compensation to help put you back in the position you were in prior to the crash.
Should You Use a Settlement Calculator?
It is important not to make decisions based on numbers an online car crash settlement calculator spits out. These calculators are not the same as mortgage or auto loan calculators, which could be quite helpful.
Settlement calculators do a poor job calculating the value of a claim based on the unique factors of a victim’s situation. These calculators carry no authority and insurance companies may offer you even less compensation than a calculator says may be available.
Without a lawyer helping you negotiate for the full value of your claim, the insurance company is unlikely to increase its offer. They are hoping you will get desperate and eventually accept a lowball offer.
If you hire an experienced lawyer who has taken cases to court, the insurance company may be more likely to increase its offer. The insurance company is likely to feel there is a possibility of the lawyer taking the case to court. Insurance companies do not want that because a jury may award much more compensation than what they might need to pay in a settlement.
Need Help With a Car Crash Claim? Call Phillips Law Group
For nearly 30 years, Phillips Law Group’s licensed attorneys have come to the aid of crash victims throughout Arizona. We have secured hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
An initial consultation with our firm is free of charge and you are not obligated to hire our firm. We are here to answer your questions and discuss possible legal options for seeking compensation. We have seen how vital compensation can be for those whose lives were affected by a car crash.
Phillips Law Group. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. 1-800-706-3000
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