If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, then you know how much of an ordeal the whole process can be.
We want to be able to simplify the process for you.
So to do that, we need to understand how an insurance company values a personal injury accident and how they decide on a "reasonable" settlement amount.
When an accident occurs, the insurance company will have one of their adjusters offer a financial settlement to the victim to avoid a case going to court.
Understanding whom an insurance adjuster is, and
where their interests lie is important for victims that want to make sure their legal rights are protected.
Who is an Insurance Adjuster?
An Insurance Adjuster is someone who works for an Insurance company whose job is to determine the value of claims made against them. Since they are working for the insurance company, their motivation is to settle for the least amount of money possible.
That is why the amount of money that victims are offered initially is so much lower than they expected. However, the insurance adjuster also has the goal of reaching a settlement outside of court. This is where knowing how to negotiate is powerful to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation.
When you are dealing with an insurance adjuster, it is important to understand how they approach personal injury cases.
Adjusters are very meticulous in their case research and can be quick to try and discredit the victim. An adjuster will get both sides of the story from the parties involved in the accident, as well as any other documentation such as a police report.
They will also obtain all medical records involved in the case and may interview doctors and other witnesses. It is also not uncommon for adjusters to look into the background of the victim, to see if there is anything in their personal history that can be used against them.
If you are the victim of a personal injury accident, remember that the insurance adjuster is not on your side, and the best way to protect yourself is by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.
What Factors does an Insurance Adjuster Consider?
After an Insurance Adjuster has done their due diligence in investigating the case, they will use a system to decide on what they think is a fair settlement offer. The main factors that an adjuster will take into consideration are:
- Documented expenses (medical bills, property damage) that have resulted from the accident.
- Loss of wages and income (past, present, and future)
- Pain and Suffering Damages
- Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Emotional Damages
Once the adjuster has done their research and gathered all of the necessary documents, they will consider the strength of the case the plaintiff has. If the victim has a very strong case that will likely win if the case goes to court, then their settlement offer will be higher.
However, if they believe the plaintiff does not have a compelling case, then they will offer a much lower settlement.
How does an insurance Adjuster determine a Settlement Amount?
Although the documented expenses are fairly easy to calculate, putting a value on pain and suffering and emotional damage can be tricky. Two of the standard systems that insurance adjusters use to calculate damages include a per diem system or a pain multiplier system.
In a Per Diem system, the insurance company will determine a value for each day that the victim suffered, and multiply it by the total number of days of suffering.
In a Pain Multiplier System, the insurance company multiplies the amount of money from medical bills and lost wages by a number between 1.5 and 5.
The number used as a multiplier is determined based on the amount of pain and suffering incurred by the victim.
Another consideration used by an Insurance Adjuster to determine a settlement offer is what the insured’s policy value is.
Many liability coverages have a maximum amount that the insurance company will pay out if there is an accident. That means that no matter the circumstances of the crash, the insurance company will never pay out more than that maximum amount.
How can Personal Injury Attorney Help?
If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and get the settlement you deserve.
A personal injury attorney can help with your case in many ways.
They will help to gather all of the evidence of the case and determine a value that is fair to you, not the insurance company.
Personal Injury attorneys also have the benefit of experience negotiating with Insurance Adjusters. They know the different tricks that they will use to try and save themselves money and can use that to your advantage.
By hiring a personal injury attorney, you are showing the insurance company that you are taking your case seriously and are willing to fight for your rights.
This will lead to a much greater chance of you winning your case and getting a larger settlement.
If you were the victim of a Personal Injury Accident and want to protect yourself from the insurance companies tactics to make sure you are awarded the compensation you deserve, then call us now to speak with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney or click on the link below.