You want to sit down with your personal injury lawyer in Lethbridge to accurately estimate how much your claim is worth. Those range of numbers will form the foundation of the range of your settlement value. However, since the final call is with the insurance adjuster, you should understand how insurers value an injury claim.
You won’t understand how insurers value an injury claim if you don’t know about the different types of losses that you can be compensated for. The defendant is generally legally on the hook for the following for the plaintiff. That is, the defendant’s insurance company tends to pay the following to the plaintiff:
• Medical care and related expenses
• Lost income
• Permanent physical disfigurement or disability
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Pain and suffering
• Property damage
Calculating The Settlement Amount
Insurance company adjusters use a formula to calculate general damages which include loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering since these are hard to calculate monetarily. The adjuster will multiply the special damages by a factor of 1.5 or 2. That factor can (rarely) go up to 5 if the accident was severe.
The income lost from injuries will be tacked onto the amount to arrive at the final settlement amount. As a general rule, insurance adjusters tend to assign higher dollar values to more painful injuries. With respect to pain and suffering, it’s difficult for an adjuster to measure just how painful pain and suffering are.
Also, more severe injuries like cracked and broken bones or a head concussion, tend to be weighted more than sore muscles or a sprained wrist. The reasoning is that severe injuries are harder to heal and cause more long-term damage and pain than less severe injuries. That assumption is generally true.
Insurance adjusters assume that soft tissue injuries will heal faster and so are not permanent, like hard tissue injuries tend to be. Adjusters know from experience that you would have a hard time proving the extent of severity of damage that soft tissue injuries caused you if your case ever went to trial.
Percentage of Both Party’s Fault
That’s not easy, but adjusters are experienced and they are good at estimating the percentage of fault of each party. If you’re the plaintiff and you were at fault, then your final settlement will be reduced by the percentage of blame that you share. Keep in mind that you may not get a settlement in some states if your percentage of fault was above 51 percent.
Get it in Writing
Have the insurance adjuster put the settlement that you agree on and the terms and conditions of that in writing. It will serve as evidence for your files. Make sure to get the date that you’ll receive your settlement in writing too.