If you have been injured in an accident, you are probably wondering what settlement amount is reasonable and what you should do if the insurance company tries to undercompensate you. First, you should know that the insurance company will try to lowball you. Because they have entire teams of employees who are devoted to keeping your money in their pockets, this is extremely likely. Secondly, you should always talk to a personal injury attorney before you even think about accepting the company’s offer.
A good attorney will be well versed in the laws of the state and be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. No one wants to go to court but if you have an attorney, the insurance company will know that you will go to court if you must.
Types of Injury
There are several different types of personal injuries an accident victim can experience. The first and most common is an injury from an auto accident.
According to the National Safety Council, 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018 and millions were injured. As you can imagine, insurance companies are overwhelmed with claims from nervous and frustrated claimants who have recently been injured. Most states require drivers to carry insurance, but a lot of people don’t comply with the law. Even if you do have liability coverage, getting an insurance company to pay is challenging. It is helpful to know a basic formula that insurance companies use to come up with a settlement offer.
The Damages Formula
The damages formula is a method used by insurance adjusters to start figuring out how much to pay on a claim. Although it is easy to add up a person’s medical bills and time missed from work, it can be considerably more challenging to figure out what a person should be compensated for pain and suffering and various life events that they may have missed due to an accident.
When an insurance adjuster first gets a claim, they will add up all the medical expenses. The adjuster will then multiply the total medical expenses by one to five times depending on the severity of the injuries. They will then add in the amount of time that you have lost from work, and this will give them the amount that they will offer you as a settlement.
Although it may seem fairly cut and dried, medical bills related to an accident may increase over time. You may think you are fine after an accident, or you may think that your injuries are minor, but there are injuries such as herniated discs that people do not feel immediately after a collision. However, they may become quite serious later on down the road and your medical bills may be significant. You may also experience anxiety after a crash and need care from a psychiatrist. You never know how many medical expenses you may accumulate from one accident, and that is why getting a fair settlement is so important. A good attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers to try to get you a settlement that will work for you.
Loss of Income
As with medical expenses, you may not know exactly how many working hours you will lose due to your accident. The number of hours that you report to your insurance company may increase over time, especially if you need time-consuming medical treatments, such as physical therapy.
Pain and Suffering
It is hard to think of your emotional pain and suffering as being reduced to a number. However, there has to be some way that an insurance company can come up with an amount of money to offer you.
When you use 1800-Injured to find a law office, you will have a consultation with an attorney from their law firm where you can discuss the amount to which you feel you are entitled, the amount of money that you have been offered, and an appropriate settlement amount.
There are many attorneys out there and 1800-Injured can connect you with a lawyer who has experience with car accident injuries. Having an accident is painful and time-consuming, but with a good car accident claims settlement, you can make a fresh start.