How Does An Insurance Company Value An Injury Claim?
If you ask your personal injury lawyer how an insurance company values an injury claim, he or she will likely tell you the following:
If you are involved in a personal injury accident and hire a lawyer,who helps you file a personal injury claim or case, you both will want to know what your final settlement value may potentially be. Well, your personal injury lawyer in Bell Gardens will tell you that insurance adjusters use the following procedures which place weight on certain key factors when determining the value of your final settlement.
What must insurance companies compensate for?
Insurance companies must compensate for the following damages which commonly arise from either bodily injury and/or property damage in a personal injury accident:
● Medical bills and other related expenses
● Lost income and/or wages because of the inability to work because of injuries or disabilities that resulted from the personal injury accident (or both!)
● Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
● Loss of enjoyment
● Pain and suffering. This includes stress, depression, and embarrassment, and other emotional pain.
● Damaged property
● Loss of consortium and or sexual pleasure
The formula the insurance company uses to calculate damages
Adjusters generally tally up the numbers for medical and other bills. The same formula is used for property damage since the loss is in tangible numbers. However, this does not apply for pain and suffering since this is an intangible and invisible injury. Insurance adjusters, therefore, tally up all medical and other bills. These are the medical special damages expenses. They then multiply this figure by a factor of 1.5 or 2 for minor injuries. This is the settlement value for pain and suffering. They then add these two numbers together to arrive at the final settlement value.
The factor is referred to as a multiplier and it can be as high as 5 in cases of long-term injuries and/or permanent disability. In some cases, insurance adjusters use a multiplier of 10. But this tends to be rare and it tends to be reserved for cases, when the plaintiff is suffering from serious and permanent injuries and/or disabilities. In all cases, the amount of lost income and/or wages is added to these two numbers, and this is what determines your final settlement amount.
Determining fault and the percentage
The insurance adjuster then has to determine if you were at fault at all in the accident. If you are, the adjuster will reduce your final settlement value by the percentage to which you were found at fault. For example, if you were at 10% at fault, your final, settlement will be reduced by10%. This is referred to as comparative negligence. Indeed, you and your personal injury lawyer can win your case if you know the answers to these frequently asked questions.