Why Online Car Crash Settlement Calculators Are Often Inaccurate

woman using calculator by laptopThe internet and smartphones have made information available at the touch of a button. While you can research and figure out many things on your own, some tasks are better left to experienced professionals.

For example, you may have seen online crash settlement calculators that supposedly tell users how much their claims may be worth. Unfortunately, these calculators do not do a good job of giving users the full picture about the value of their claim.

These calculators are only as reliable as the information you put into them. However, they do not ask for all the details you would need to accurately determine your claim’s potential value.

That is why you should seriously consider working with an experienced attorney. At TSR Injury Law, we have decades of experience determining the value of car crash claims. We have also recovered millions on behalf of crash victims.

Why Settlement Calculators Are Inaccurate

Like other online calculators, those used for car crash claims ask you for a variety of numbers to calculate the value of a settlement. For example, these calculators are likely to ask for the value of:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Repairs for your vehicle
  • Replacement value of your vehicle if it was declared a total loss
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Damage to other personal property besides your car
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other non-economic damages

At first glance, it may seem like these calculators are helpful if you have the information you need. However, how do you determine the value of your lost earning capacity or your pain and suffering? There is no set value for these kinds of damages. Their value is based on a variety of unique considerations.

For example, most car crash settlement calculators ask victims to rate their pain and suffering. Their rating is then multiplied by another number, such as the value of economic damages. However, this is an arbitrary calculation. Attorneys and insurance adjusters do not arbitrarily calculate the value of a victim’s pain and suffering. They consider the facts of the situation, available insurance coverage and other relevant information.

Calculators are programmed to assume pain and suffering is worth more if the victim has a significant amount of medical expenses. This may be true in some cases, but there are many other variables to consider. Think of it this way: medical treatment may be so successful that it leaves the victim with few long-term problems. That scenario may result in minimal pain and suffering even though the medical treatment was very expensive.

It is also important to remember online settlement calculators only consider the data you give them. They are not accounting for the unique factors of your situation, such as:

  • The severity of your injuries and whether a doctor will relate all the injuries to the crash
  • Your medical records
  • How you respond to treatment
  • Your specific job skills
  • Future lost earnings
  • Prior similar injuries
  • Scar cases usually do not have a lot of bills but are traumatic to the injured party
  • What is your health insurance type and what subrogation claim is being made against the settlement
  • How many insurance companies are at fault and what percentage does each agree on
  • Are your doctors board certified
  • What is the Brewster number that the insurance company actually owes versus the full amount of bills; and
  • Other relevant factors, the biggest is without legal counsel no insurance company will be concerned about a lawsuit that would actually hold them accountable, so they will offer the least amount possible

Injuries can have a devastating impact on a victim’s life, even if the medical care was successful. The victim’s treatment may end, and he or she may have little ongoing pain and suffering. However, the injury may prevent the victim from engaging in a hobby he or she used to enjoy. Settlement calculators are not built to factor in these things.

Why It Is Better To Have an Attorney Evaluate Your Claim

Experience can be very important when pursuing compensation after a car crash. For example, attorneys who have handled denied or undervalued claims before have a much better idea of how to proceed. They have helped people with a variety of claims and know what it takes to be successful.

Attorneys have learned how to evaluate injuries and loss of earning capacity. It is about more than simply assigning something a number. At TSR Injury Law, our Minneapolis car accident lawyers can also consult medical professionals and other experts, as needed. This additional expertise helps us to not only bolster a claim, but also to determine its value.

In short, attorneys can provide nuanced analysis that you are simply never going to get from an online calculator.

The number an online calculator spits out does not carry any real authority. Even if you think the number the calculator gives you is reasonable, the insurance company may lowball you. When this happens, you need an experienced attorney to negotiate with the insurance company.

You also want an attorney with courtroom experience who is prepared to file a lawsuit. Even if your case does not end up in court, filing a lawsuit may help. Often, it could be just the push needed to get the insurance company to make a better settlement offer.

Call TSR Injury Law To Discuss Possible Legal Options

The attorneys at TSR Injury Law are ready to help, and we have a proven track record of success. There are no upfront costs with our services. There is also no obligation to work with our firm after your free initial consultation. In other words, there is no risk in meeting with one of our experienced attorneys to learn how we may be able to assist you.

Car crashes can cause devastating injuries and financial upheaval for victims and their families. You do not want to solely count on the insurance company to provide the compensation you need.

TSR Injury Law. Proven Results. No Upfront Fees. (612) TSR-TIME

Why You May Want GAP Insurance to Protect You After a Bad Car Crash

gap insurance paperwork on clipboardYou may be surprised by how easy it is for a car to get totaled in a crash. (Totaled means the cost of repairing the damage is greater than the value of the vehicle. (Some companies consider 80 percent of the value to fix a vehicle to also be deemed a total loss). If your vehicle is more than a few years old, anything more than minor damage could be enough to total it.

In recent years, research has found people keep their cars a lot longer than they used to. Drivers delay buying a new vehicle or buy a used one instead. This may make it much more likely for a lot of vehicles on the road to be totaled in a crash.

If you still owe money on your car loan when your car gets totaled, and you owe more than the value of the vehicle, you may need financial help. Many people do not have thousands of dollars in cash they can use to pay off a loan.

That is why drivers should strongly consider purchasing GAP insurance. Learn more about GAP insurance below.

What You Need to Know About GAP Insurance

GAP stands for guaranteed asset protection, and you can buy this type of insurance for a variety of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, light trucks, jet skis, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats.

If you buy this insurance, it should help you avoid a financial crisis if your vehicle is totaled. If you owe more than the vehicle is worth, GAP insurance covers the difference, so you do not need to. The rest of the loan balance is paid off with the settlement provided by the insurance company.

GAP policies vary in terms of other features that may be available. For example, they may waive a portion of your deductible, which is the amount you must pay up front before the insurance policy kicks in and provides coverage. Some policies may give you additional money to help you in buying another vehicle. You should carefully review the terms of a policy and ask the insurance company for clarification on anything you are unsure about.

You never know when your vehicle may be totaled after a crash. If it happens, you are still going to need reliable transportation to get to doctors’ appointments and to work, if you can work. If you are on the hook for the rest of your loan balance, it may be much harder to get a new vehicle.

With GAP insurance you should have one less problem to deal with after a crash. You want to be focused on your medical treatment and recovery, which is also why you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to help you pursue compensation for the damages you suffered in the crash. While using GAP coverage may be relatively straightforward, the insurance company may not make things so easy when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other damages.

Do Insurers Place Restrictions on GAP Insurance?

There may be certain restrictions on your ability to buy GAP insurance. For example, the Allstate website says some insurers only sell GAP insurance to those who have brand new vehicles. Insurers may limit GAP coverage to those who have vehicles no more than two or three years old, or to the original owner of the vehicle.

When Might GAP Insurance Be Worth it?

The Insurance Information Institute recommends buying GAP coverage if you have a loan that is 60 months or more, you paid less than 20 percent down, or if you leased your vehicle. If you leased your vehicle, the lease agreement may already include GAP coverage.

You may also want GAP insurance if you bought a vehicle that tends to depreciate faster than the average vehicle or if you rolled negative equity from an old car loan into your new loan.

Having Trouble with Your Insurance Company? Call Today

Our experienced St. Paul auto accident attorneys know insurance companies are not looking out for the best interests of their policyholders. Their concern is making money and holding onto it for as long as they can. That means they have a strong incentive to deny or devalue claims, or simply drag their feet in hopes you will be desperate for compensation and will accept a lowball offer.

Car crash victims need a strong advocate who is looking out for their best interests. In fact, victims who hire an attorney often receive more compensation than those who do not.

Our firm has obtained $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients and there are no upfront fees for our services.

Give us a call today. We are ready to help. (612) TSR-TIME

Firm Sponsors 2021 Walk Like MADD at French Regional Park, Plymouth

tsr staff and family at walk like maddOur firm was the 2021 Regional Title Sponsor for Minnesota Walk Like MADD, an event raising money to support MADD Minnesota’s goal of raising awareness about drunk and drugged driving and to eliminate it. We were also a participant at the walk and have taken part in this event for the past 15 years.

The event took place on Saturday, September 18th at French Regional Park in Plymouth.  There were over 200 walkers comprised of 18 teams.

The TSR Injury Law team raised $2,000. All the proceeds went to MADD Minnesota.

TSR announced its partnership with MADD Minnesota in February 2021. Co-founder and managing partner Steve Terry took part in a civil services Q&A in the March 2021 edition of the MADD MN Victim Services Newsletter.

Thank you to all those who participated and donated to help MADD Minnesota in its mission to end drunk driving.

What are the Car Insurance Company’s Obligations When You File a Claim?

denied in block lettersWe buy insurance to help protect us when something unexpected happens. We are counting on the insurance company to hold up its end of the bargain and manage claims in good faith.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for acting in bad faith. If they do not break the law in their handling of a claim, they may stop just short of breaking the law.

It is important to know your rights when you file an insurance claim so you will know if the insurance company is taking advantage of you. If you are struggling with your insurance company after a crash, give TSR Injury Law a call to schedule a free legal consultation.

We have been assisting car crash victims in dealing with insurance companies for decades and have a proven track record of success.

Minnesota’s Good Faith Law

While insurance companies have the right to deny claims, they must have a reasonable basis for doing so. If the insurance company cannot prove it had a legitimate, credible reason for denying a claim filed by someone they insure, that person may pursue legal action against the insurance company. If you can prove this, you may be awarded damages.

It is important to note your insurance company has an obligation to you to act in good faith. However, the other driver’s insurance company has no such obligation to you.

Your car insurance company also has a variety of obligations in how it processes your claim. For example, the insurance company must acknowledge that it received your claim within 10 business days. The insurance company must also provide you with all necessary claim forms and instructions on how to process your claim.

Investigating Your Claim

Insurance companies are also legally obligated to complete an investigation of your claim within 30 business days. The only exception to this is if the investigation cannot reasonably be completed in that time. However, the insurance company must notify you of the reasons why the investigation cannot be finished within 30 days.

Contacting an Attorney

Minnesota law says it is also illegal for an insurance company to advise a claimant not to call an attorney or to say payment of benefits will be delayed if you retain an attorney.

Notifying You of Acceptance or Denial of a Claim

The insurance company is also required to notify you of its acceptance or denial of a claim within 60 days of receiving a properly executed proof of loss. The insurance company cannot deny your claim based on a specific provision, condition or exclusion unless that is stated in the denial letter sent to the claimant.

Making a Settlement Agreement

The insurance company cannot threaten to cancel or not renew your policy to try to coerce you into settling the claim.

They also cannot make a settlement offer for one part of the claim that is contingent on settling a different part of the claim.

There are many other things insurance companies cannot do when someone files a claim after a car accident, such as telling you that you are required to take your car to a certain body shop for repairs. You have the right to decide where to take your car for repairs.

Despite these regulations, insurance companies often mislead, deceive and unfairly deny claims. Their loyalty is to their bottom line, so they are looking for some way to deny or undervalue claims.

That is why it is so important to seek experienced legal help. Insurance companies know an experienced Bloomington car accident attorney knows the law and will aggressively seek full compensation for crash victims.

TSR Injury Law is Here to Help Crash Victims. Call Today

You do not need to handle your car crash claim alone. Not only can an attorney manage the process for you, but hiring an attorney often results in a more favorable outcome for victims.

Call TSR Injury Law today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees for our services. In fact, we are not paid unless our clients get paid. This means there is no financial risk toyou.

Our firm has recovered $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Give us a call today for legal help. (612) TSR-TIME

Did the At-Fault Party Act Reasonably to Prevent an Injury?

speedometer with dial on liabilityWhen attorneys try to determine if someone is liable for an injury, they assess whether the party acted reasonably or unreasonably in the situation that resulted in an injury. If this person failed to act as a reasonable person would have in the same situation, he or she may be liable for damages suffered by the victim.

But how do you know what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation? How do you know if this person’s actions were unreasonable?

These are complex questions, and this is one of the reasons why injury victims should strongly consider seeking help from someone with legal experience. Proving negligence can be difficult and requires a thorough investigation and knowledge of personal injury law.

At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping injury victims in Minnesota for decades and have recovered $1 billion in compensation on their behalf. Call today to discuss your claim with a licensed Minneapolis personal injury attorney.

Free initial consultation and no upfront fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Defining a Reasonable Person and Reasonable Actions

These issues must be assessed on a case-by-case basis because every situation is different. No two car crashes are the same and a car crash case is much different from a case involving a slip and fall, dog bite, daycare abuse, nursing home abuse or medical malpractice.

That said, there are some criteria that may apply across a variety of cases. For instance, it is reasonable to expect people to obey the law. If an injury resulted from someone else breaking the law, you can probably consider his or her actions to be unreasonable. Drivers should obey traffic laws, such as laws about speeding, staying in your lane and respecting the right of way of other drivers.

While slip and fall cases can be complex, one factor that be considered is whether the property owner could have addressed a slip and fall hazard before the injury occurred. It would probably be reasonable to expect the property owner to remove a hazard or rope it off if he or she was told about it, the hazard was in a heavily trafficked area, or someone else was recently injured in the area.

Different standards may be applied when a child is injured in a premises liability case. Children do not have the same ability as adults to recognize dangerous situations. That means property owners have a greater responsibility to protect child trespassers from injury than they would in protecting adult trespassers from injury.

Failing to Act Can Be Unreasonable

Sometimes people are found at fault because of a failure to act, and this failure to act is considered unreasonable under the circumstances. In the example above, the property owner failed to act to remove a hazard. If it would have been reasonable to expect the property owner to do something, he or she may bear liability for the victim’s damages.

In a nursing home, residents often suffer injuries because of the failure of staff members to act. For example, staff members may fail to clear clutter and other obstacles from hallways. These obstacles may cause residents to fall and suffer serious injuries. Another example is when staff members do not monitor residents to avoid constant pressure on body parts. Bed sores arise and the injury is caused.

Was the Risk of Harm Foreseeable?

Another factor to consider is whether the risk of harm from the at-fault party’s action or inaction was foreseeable. If the at-fault party should have known the risk of harm was foreseeable, he or she may have been acting unreasonably.

When assessing whether harm was foreseeable, the person’s knowledge, awareness and mental capacity to behave like a reasonable person must also be considered.

Learn More About the Benefits of an Attorney. Call TSR Today

Injury victims often struggle to secure full compensation for their injuries without help from a licensed attorney. In fact, insurance companies would prefer victims handle things on their own because insurance companies know how to mislead and deceive injury victims.

You do not need to go through the legal process alone. TSR Injury Law’s experienced attorneys are here to help and there are no upfront fees for our services. We have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients and are ready to help you.

TSR Injury Law. No upfront fees or obligations. (612) TSR-TIME