This article will discuss how insurance companies determine the value of your personal injury claim.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence you may be eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury claim. When making a claim against an insurance company it is important to determine what insurer’s value in an injury claim. This article will discuss how insurance companies determine the value of your personal injury claim.
Coming up with how much accident injuries are worth is a critical aspect of any personal injury claim and an important part of the claim that is the most difficult to determine. This is mainly because the amount varies depending on your specific circumstances as well as your insurance company. In order to determine what your claim is worth it is necessary to know the types of damages for which you may be compensated. Such damages include the following:
Medical care and related expenses
Income loss due to the accident; for example time spent away from work undergoing treatment for injuries
Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
Loss of family, social and educational experiences such as missed school or training, vacation or recreation
Emotional damages such as stress, embarrassment, depression or strains on family relationships
When it comes to determining compensation it is usually easy to simply add up the money spent and money lost. However, when it comes to losses that do not have an exact or precise dollar figure this could pose a problem. Such losses include pain and suffering, missed experiences and lost opportunities which are difficult to put a dollar figure on. In this regard that is when an insurance company’s damages formula is applied.
At the beginning of claim negotiations an insurance adjuster adds up the total medical expenses related to the injury, such expenses are referred to as ‘medical special’ damages. This is the base figure the adjustor uses to determine how much to pay the injured person for pain, suffering and other non-monetary losses; referred to as ‘general’ damages. When the injuries are relatively minor the insurance adjuster multiplies the amount of special damages using the number 1.5 or 2. When the injuries are particularly painful, serious or long-lasting the adjuster multiplies the amount of special damages by up to the number 5. Thereafter, the adjuster adds on any income lost as a result of these injuries. However, it must be noted that the formula does not end with medical specials times a number between 1.5 and 5 and an addition of lost income, but rather this is the number at which settlement negotiations begin. Therefore, the formula does not determine the final compensation amount.
Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the percentage of fault that each individual has with regards to the accident. The extent to which each person is at fault affects how much the insurance company is likely to pay. Unfortunately, determining fault is not an exact science, therefore, a rough percentage is used and is deducted from your total damages to arrive at the final figure.
For legal advice and representation by a Northridge car accident attorney contact a law firm of professionals.
For a personal injury attorney in Ventura, the author recommends the King Law Firm.