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How are loss wages, pain and suffering and bodily injury claims calculated in an auto accident??

Sacramento, CA |

11/9/11 I was rear ended, leaving my car a total loss and me outta work for 2 1/2 weeks.I am suffereing necck and back injuries and am seeing a phycial therapist.How are my pain and suffereing and medical payments going to be calculated? Does the ins agency cut me and check or just pay the medical care provider directly? Also, how are loss wages calculated? This is the first time anything like this has happened to me. The ins agency has already totalled out my call and paid me out for that. Also, usually how long does this take?

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Attorney answers 4


Personal injury damages are much more difficult to calculate than property damage. If the insurance company has a formula they use they keep it highly confidential. An insurance company will take advantage of an unrepresented claimant any way they can. I strongly advise you to retain a competent personal injury lawyer to handle such claims. It will be well worth the attorney's fee.

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The most important thing you need to do as a result of an automobile accident is get well if you are injured.
Medical claims are fairly easy to calculate. If you have health insurance or were being seen via the medical coverage associated with the auto/ins coverage, there is usually a contract beween the providers and the carrier. Provider's service bill may be $40,000 but after the contract considerations, the bill is $1,500.00. The carrier pays the provider, you owe the carrier that sum from any recovery you get in a law suit. Lost wages are generally calculated by the actual days you lost X # of hours per day you work X wage rate or any other method which accounts for your time. Usually you can compare relative pay stubs. The tougher part is frequently when you take peronal time and sick leave. That is a lost wage because it represents something of yours you had to use.
Pain and suffering - difficult. Once upon a verrrrrry long tome ago some attorneys used a multiple of 3 times the "specials" - lost wages and medical costs- as an approximation for settlement. My torts instructor once said you figure the amount by how many $$ it took for the plaintiff to not feel any pain.
The truth is today, most PI plaintiff'd attorneys try and get as much money as possible from the carrier.
Bottom line, if you have any signioficant costs[sounds as if you do], find a PI attorney.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


Once you are done treating we would submit all of the medical bills and ask for them to be repaid along with the total lost wages as sworn to by your HR person. Your attorney then goes and negotiates the liens with your medical care providers and insurance company. This process will probably take a couple of months to resolve once you have finished treating.

I am a lawyer that handles personal injury cases on a regular basis. Please call me for a free consultation. I would be happy to represent you with the insurance company so that you get the most that you can.


the value of a personal injury matter is determined by many factors as each person differs and injury can affect each person differently. I find by an overwhelming majority it benefits the claimant to have legal representation. Being local I can help you with that. Give me a call to talk about it, no charge, Fred at 916-442-0000

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