How Much is My Pennsylvania Accident Case Worth?

 In Headline Accidents

You were seriously injured in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. You’ve just come home after several days in the hospital when you get the call from your insurance adjuster. He wants to offer you $15,000 for your medical bills. Should you accept the offer?

Fifteen thousand dollars may seem like a large amount of money, but it won’t cover your bills.

A car accident victim in Pennsylvania spends an average of five days in the hospital at a cost of $5,000 or more per night.  If you need medication or follow-up care, you could easily end up owing $50,000 or more.  How can you know what your case is really worth?

A fair insurance settlement offer should compensate you for the following:

  • All accident-related hospital bills, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medication, and related expenses
  • Any in-home nursing services
  • Any rehabilitation
  • The repair of damage to your vehicle
  • Any income lost because of the accident and your injuries

You may also receive compensation for:

  • Disfigurement, scarring, or permanent disability resulting from the accident
  • Emotional distress

How the Insurance Company Calculates the Value of Your Claim

Most insurance companies use a software program to calculate the value of an accident claim.  The program adds up your medical expenses and multiplies them by predetermined number.  If you are partly at fault, the result is reduced by your percentage of the blame. But, the resulting amount is a rarely a fair settlement offer.

The software depends on insurance adjuster input. The computer will ask questions about how your injuries impact your daily life. Your insurance adjuster doesn’t know how your injuries have affected your ability to live and work, so he’ll tell the computer that you’re doing just fine. This will allow him to minimize the amount that the insurance company must pay.

How Your Attorney Calculates the Value of Your Claim

An attorney will estimate your medical costs using your medical bills and receipts. He will also add the amount that your insurance company paid as you may be required to pay that back once you receive your settlement. He will also use your paystubs to determine the amount of income you have lost due to your injuries.

  • Keep the medical bills that show the cost of your treatment.
  • Keep any insurance forms that show payments related to your injuries.
  • Keep any paystubs showing work missed because of the accident.

Your attorney will then determine the amount you should be paid for pain and suffering. Unlike other states, Pennsylvania uses a system of limited tort. Limited tort restricts the ability to recover damages for pain and suffering after an accident. However, there are several exceptions. These include:

  • Accidents resulting in serious injuries
  • Accidents caused by drunk drivers
  • Accidents involving commercial vehicles
  • Accidents involving an out-of-state vehicle

Your insurance company won’t tell you about these exceptions. You will only get damages for pain and suffering if you fight for them.

Know the Real Value of Your Claim

When dealing with the insurance company, it is best to know exactly how much your claim is worth. Before accepting a settlement, check the value of your claim with a personal injury lawyer. Call Ostroff Law at 484-351-0350 to schedule a free case review.

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