How much a rear-end accident is worth is based on the sum of your accident-related losses and damages. These losses and damages may include medical treatment expenses, lost income, damage to property or your vehicle, and emotional trauma or pain and suffering you had to endure as a direct or proximate result of the accident.
The severity of your injuries, how long you are expected to recover, and any role you may have had in causing the accident will also be taken into account.
Insurance Policies and Applicable Laws May Affect Your Case’s Value
Maryland is one of only four states in the country that has a contributory negligence law. This law states that if you are found to be even one percent negligent and responsible for an accident, you can be barred from any compensation in your case. This means that the first rule of seeking compensation is proving that you were in no way responsible for the accident in question.
Once you prove this, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver and their insurance company liable for the costs that arose from your accident. Having someone who has a basic understanding of applicable insurance laws and policies under which you may be covered may be useful for building your case.
Drivers are not required to have personal injury protection (PIP) in Maryland. However, according to the Maryland Insurance Administration, for all policies written or renewed after January 1, 2011, the minimum amounts of liability coverage required by Maryland law are:
- $30K bodily injury coverage for one individual per accident
- $60K bodily injury coverage for two or more individuals per accident
- $15K property damage coverage per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of equal values
Other applicable policies may determine how much coverage you may be able to seek for your losses, such as collision coverage or your personal health insurance policy.
For a free legal consultation, call (410)886-6215
Your Legal Team May Help You Calculate the Value of Your Rear-End Accident
How much a rear-end accident is worth varies considerably from case to case. Once you have determined which party or parties may be responsible for your rear-end accident, you can then calculate the value of the damages you suffered. After totaling your damages, you may submit a letter of intent to sue to the at-fault party’s insurer. However, to do this, you must gather evidence of your losses and arrive at an accurate assessment of those losses before submitting your claim or lawsuit.
Special and General Damages
The damages you might have suffered may include special and general damages.
Special damages are tangible and typically easy to calculate. These damages are also known as economic damages and include medical treatment expenses, lost income, and vehicle repair costs. Hospital or doctor invoices, medicine prescriptions, wage slips, salary statements, and vehicle maintenance bills are common forms of evidence that can be used to prove these losses.
As for general damages, these are intangible damages. They typically affect your emotional or mental well-being. They are sometimes referred to as non-economic damages and can be harder to quantify than economic damages. Examples include emotional trauma, pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, a loss in one’s enjoyment of life, and the loss of company or consortium of a loved one.
To be included in your personal injury claim, your noneconomic damages must stem directly from the physical, provable injuries you suffered in the accident. Keep in mind that there are laws, such as the Maryland Code, Courts, and Judicial Proceedings §3-2A-09, that limit the amount of non-economic damages that you can recover in an accident. Any non-economic damages claims you file must be in accordance with these laws.
Extent and Severity of Your Damages
Other factors may also be used to determine the value of your rear-end accident claim, such as the severity of your damages and how long you suffered damages after your accident.
Rear-end accidents can cause broken bones, head and brain trauma, and death, but they can also lead to simple bumps, bruises, abrasions, and cuts. Depending on how seriously you were injured, the value of your claim may reflect how serious the impact of the accident was on your life.
Estimating a Settlement
The hardest part about building many accident cases and determining how much the case might be worth is calculating the total settlement cost for the claim. Many personal injury cases are determined using the multiplier method. The multiplier is usually a figure that lies between 1.5 and four. This figure is multiplied by your special damages to arrive at a value for your settlement.
Contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow for Legal Assistance
The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can be reached at (410) 877-6021. Please contact us today to learn more about how much a rear-end accident is worth. It can be difficult to wrap your head around which laws, insurance policy limits, and types of damages apply to your case. Our team can manage your case workload and file the appropriate paperwork on your behalf. Call us today to get started on your rear-end accident claim or lawsuit.