ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
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by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Should an Injury Accident Settlement include the Cost of Home Modifications?

ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC, Logo

ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC, Logo

Recently I was part of an injury accident lawsuit and settlement and I was surprised to learn how the tort laws in Tennessee compute the settlement amount.

Basically, the lawyers look at the medical costs incurred by the victim of the accident, this includes the out-of-pocket expenses plus any expenses covered by the victim’s insurance company, and adds to that any lost wages the victim incurs as a result of the accident, to get a baseline cost. Then a multiple is applied to that baseline cost, and in TN that multiple is usually 1.5 - 2.5 for a car accident. So if the baseline costs add up to $10,000, the settlement will usually result in a number between $15,000 and $25,000. But what is missing in this computation?

Answer: The cost of home modifications to accommodate the injury! It is not uncommon for accident injury victims to have temporary or permanent mobility limitations as a result of the accident. Examples could include having to use crutches for a few weeks, which is a temporary situation, ranging up to having to use a wheel chair for the rest of their life because the injuries are permanent. Now if the home of the victim is not set up for a wheel chair, this can be a big expensive cost to modify that home for this permanent disability. If that modification is even feasible. For some homes, these home modifications can be in the tens of thousands of dollars! And if it is not feasible to modify the home, then the cost of relocation should included.

So I suggest the cost of home modifications (or relocation) should be included in the settlement for an injury incurred in an accident. If you are the victim of an injury accident, and you are suing the person or insurance company responsible for damages, I recommend you include the costs of any home modifications (or replacement) in the lawsuit. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) consultant can calculate the estimated cost of the home modifications.

Lastly, apparently the multiples mentioned above are different in other states. That’s a topic for another day, but suffice to say, the multiples in TN are on the low side.

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident caused by someone else, please call Richard at 615-752-0060 to discuss the needs for a home safety inspection and home modification. For more information about the services Richard provides please see Residential Accessibility.

Thank you.