Settlements for head-on collisions can vary widely depending on the circumstances involved. Learn how the insurance companies calculate settlement value in head-on collisions and get a free claim assessment from a local attorney.
A head-on collision can be a life-changing experience. Unfortunately, in many cases, head-on collisions also lead to loss of life. These are serious accidents that can have serious consequences, and victims’ losses will often be substantial. For this reason, most victims need to file head-on collision settlement claims with the insurance companies.
But, how do the insurance companies calculate settlement value in head-on collisions? Actually, when you have an insurance claim, calculating your losses is up to you. If you rely on the insurance companies, you won’t receive the full compensation you are owed. In fact, you might just receive a small fraction of what you deserve.
Settlement Value in Head-On Collisions Resulting in Serious Injuries
Calculating settlement value in head-on collisions resulting in serious injuries requires an understanding of both the financial and non-financial effects of the collision. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you are entitled to compensation for your financial and non-financial losses. Financial losses encompass out-of-pocket expenses and lost income, including:
- Medical bills, therapy bills, and prescription costs
- Transportation costs and other necessary expenses
- Loss of wages, salary, tips, and commissions
- Loss of retirement contributions and other benefits
Non-financial losses are those that impact your life in ways other than reducing your bank account balance. Common examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of services, society, and support
While calculating your financial losses might seem fairly straightforward, it is important to remember that head-on settlement claims can include compensation for both current and future losses. In fact, your future losses will probably make up the greatest portion of your claim. So, not only do you need to add up your out-of-pocket costs and lost income to date, but you also need to figure out how much your injuries will cost you in the months, years, or decades to come.
When it comes to calculating just compensation for non-financial losses, the insurance companies generally recognize two primary methods of calculation. The first is the per diem method. With this method, a daily rate is assigned to the non-financial effects of your injuries, and then this rate is multiplied by the number of days you are expected to experience non-financial consequences from your head-on collision.
The second is the multiplier method. With this method, once you calculate your financial losses, you then multiply this amount by a number between 1.5 and 5 (the “multiplier”). Whichever option you choose, you will need to be able to convince the insurance companies that your chosen numbers are appropriate, and for this you will need a skilled attorney on your side.
Settlement Value in Head-On Collisions Resulting in Death
If you have lost a loved one in a head-on collision, the method for calculating your losses will be somewhat different. You and your family are still entitled to the same general types of financial and non-financial losses listed above, but there is a different process for seeking compensation for wrongful death.
This process varies between states. In some states, eligible family members can file claims directly, while other states require claims to be filed by the victim’s personal representative. Moreover, some states allow eligible family members to file “survival actions” in addition claims for wrongful death.
Regardless of the process you need to follow, you will want to work with an attorney to calculate the amount you and your loved ones are entitled to recover. Families will often be entitled to substantial compensation for head-on collision settlement claims; but, again, it will be up to you (and your attorney) to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Much Can You (or Your Family) Recover for a Head-On Collision?
While it might be nice if there was a “standard” amount for head-on collision settlement claims, or if there was a meaningful “average” settlement value, the reality is this is not the case. Each victim’s losses are different, and the settlement that you (or your family) can recover depends on your unique circumstances.
In order to determine how much you (or your family) can recover for a head-on collision, you will need to discuss your unique circumstances with a local attorney through CarAccidentSource.com. Your attorney will examine the following factors (among others) in determining an appropriate settlement value for your (or your loved one’s) head-on collision:
- Who was at fault in the collision (i.e. were you or your loved one partially at fault)?
- Did a vehicle defect, road hazard, or other issue play a role in causing the crash?
- How significant or egregious was the at-fault party’s conduct?
- What are your long-term treatment needs (if you were injured in a head-on collision)?
- If you lost a loved one, did your loved one survive the crash and suffer prior to death?
- How significant are your pain, suffering, and other non-financial losses?
- How long will you experience the financial and non-financial effects of the crash?
Steps Victims Need to Take When Filing Head-On Collision Settlement Claims with the Insurance Companies
Given that the amount you can recover for a head-on collision depends entirely on your unique circumstances, what do you need to do to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve? Here are some important steps accident victims and families can take to seek maximum value in their head-on collision settlement claims:
- Seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s treatment advice. Obtain a second opinion about your recovery if necessary, but do not simply ignore any medical advice you don’t trust or don’t understand.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will need to conduct an investigation order to collect evidence of liability, and you will need to rely on your lawyer’s advice to make smart decisions.
- Be prepared for the settlement process to take time. Since head-on collisions often leave victims and families facing substantial losses, it can take time to convince the insurance companies to pay what you are owed.
- Be prepared for the possibility that your claim won’t settle. While most auto insurance claims settle, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you won’t receive a fair settlement offer. If this happens, your lawyer will need to take your claim to court.
- Follow your lawyer’s advice and avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim. From avoiding direct communications with the insurance companies to staying off of social media, there are several easy-to-make mistakes that can put your claim at risk.