How To Calculate the Real Costs of a Car Accident

Published on Aug 21, 2023 at 2:03 pm in Car Accidents.
How To Calculate the Real Costs of a Car Accident

Anyone who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident already knows the intense physical and emotional burden it can leave a victim with. But for many crash survivors, injuries and mental anguish are just the beginning of their problems post-wreck.

Anyone who has been unfairly injured in an accident that they did not cause should not be left to suffer on their own. Financial compensation recovered via a personal injury claim is one of the most effective methods afforded by Mississippi law for setting accident victims on the path to recovery.

However, you can’t expect to access the full compensation to which you are entitled if you don’t understand how to calculate the real costs of a car accident. Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law explains.

What Are the Real Costs of a Car Accident?

The real costs of a car accident can be broken down into two different categories: financial and non-financial. Commonly referred to as economic and non-economic damages, these encompass all the ways that your life has been impacted by an accident.

Let’s break down what these damages encompass.

Economic Damages

These are the direct and indirect financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of your accident. Some of the most common and obvious examples of economic damages in personal injury claims include:

  • Lost wages if you cannot work.
  • Medical bills for ambulance rides, emergency room visits, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, specialist appointments, rehabilitative services, and more.
  • Property damage if your vehicle was damaged or totaled.

However, there are many other financial losses that may be associated with a single collision, such as:

  • Reduced earning capacity if you can no longer work at the same job, within the same capacity, or for as long.
  • Lost bonuses, retirement savings, pensions, and other forms of compensation not directly tied to an hourly wage or yearly salary.
  • Future medical expenses if your condition will need continued and ongoing treatment.
  • The cost of replacing valuable items in your vehicle that were damaged during the crash, like your phone, a laptop, musical instruments, and more.
  • Household services if you are unable to cook or clean.
  • Childcare costs if you are no longer able to look after your children in the same capacity.
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments, especially if you require non-emergency medical transportation services.

The exact types of financial losses to which you are entitled will depend on the specific details of your claim. Remember, no two car accident cases are alike—this means that you can’t count on receiving the exact same settlement as another crash survivor.

Non-Economic Damages

In personal injury, non-economic damages are much less tangible than economic damages. That does not make them any less real, though. Any impact that a car accident has had on your life should be fully addressed through a fair settlement paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Examples of non-economic damages that are factored in as part of the real costs of a car accident include:

  • Physical pain, suffering, and discomfort.
  • Emotional distress or mental anguish, including the development of travel or vehicle-related phobias.
  • Any loss of enjoyment in life you’ve suffered, including loss of companionship or consortium.
  • Humiliation and loss of reputation.
  • Any decrease in your quality of life.
  • The development or worsening of disabilities or permanent impairments.
  • Disfigurement or scarring from the collision itself or from medical care to treat accident injuries.

These are all examples of non-tangible losses that do not necessarily have a price tag affixed to them. However, we know that an impact does not need to have a direct financial value for it to have a real and lasting effect on a person’s life. A car accident settlement cannot truly be considered fair unless it takes into account all the different ways that a person’s life has been altered.

Insurance companies are not known for their fairness when paying accident claims, though. In an effort to lower total payouts, many auto insurers try to downplay the non-economic losses that victims have suffered.

How To Calculate What Your Car Accident Has Cost You

Using the multiplier method is the most effective and commonly accepted process for calculating the cost of economic car accident damages in Mississippi.

To use the multiplier method, you must first correctly add up all of the financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of your crash. This amount is then multiplied by a number that falls anywhere between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier used to calculate your damages will be based on the unique circumstances of your accident and situation. So, if you suffered a minor injury and are expected to recover relatively well, your damages would likely be multiplied by 1.5. Cases involving catastrophic injuries are multiplied by higher numbers, such as 4 or 5.

Calculating non-economic damages presents more of a challenge, as there are no tangible financial costs that can be multiplied using a simple calculation. In Mississippi, the compensation for non-economic damages is capped at $1 million for car accident cases.

Do You Need a Lawyer To Figure Out How Much You’re Owed for a Wreck?

Big auto insurance companies aren’t here to help accident victims. As for-profit businesses with a focus on growing revenue and boosting profits, many insurers will purposely limit settlements to those who are entitled to much more.

Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law won’t stand idly by while the big insurance companies refuse to acknowledge the real cost of your car accident. As an accomplished Biloxi car accident attorney with a proven history of standing up for accident and injury victims, Corban Gunn has the knowledge and experience necessary to correctly calculate the real costs of a car accident.

To learn more about your right to compensation following a motor vehicle accident, please contact our law office to schedule a completely free case evaluation.



If you can’t call us, fill out the form below. Our initial case evaluations for personal injury cases are always free. No strings attached.