Working out how much your personal injury could be worth is a crucial part of your claim, however, it can be the of the most difficult aspects as the amount you may receive could depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident.
Let’s take a look at the methods some insurance companies use to determine how much a claim could be worth:
Firstly, you will need to be aware of the different types of damages that you could claim for. An insurance company who may end up paying out a sum of money has to compensate for:
– Emotional damage: Such as embarrassment, depression, stress, strains of personal and family relationships, the anxiety that the sufferer feels about the accident and its effects.
– Income: Money that has been lost as a result of having to take time off work because the injuries sustained means they cannot work. You may also be able to claim for the time you have had to take off work because you need to undergo treatment for injuries that you sustained.
– Loss of family and social experiences: such as a vacation or other special events.
– Loss of educational experiences: such as school/college/training.
– Medical care: and any related expenses.
– Permanent disfigurement.
– Permanent physical disability.
– Property that has been damaged.
The Formula used by Insurance Companies
There isn’t a global formula used by insurance companies who are trying to calculate how much they need to pay out, although it can be relatively easy to add up how much money has been lost since the accident or injury took place. An insurance adjuster is likely to have some sort of formula to help them calculate how much the medical expenses have come to. Upon calculating how much money needs to be paid out for medical expenses it’s then fairly easy to work out how much the insurance company needs to pay for other non-monetary losses that are known as ‘General damages’.
When the injuries that have been sustained in an accident are minor the insurance adjuster typically multiplies the amount of medical expenses (Also known as ‘Special damages’) by 1 ½ or 2.
Long-lasting or serious injuries
When the injuries that have been sustained in an accident are long-lasting or serious the insurance adjuster typically multiplies the special damages by 3-5, or as much as 10 in some extreme circumstances.
Finally, the adjuster adds the figure for the income that has been lost, as a result of the accident or injury to the figure that they already have. Please note that this figure is not the final amount, but the amount that the insurance adjuster will use when they first begin negotiations.
The percentage of Fault
One of the most important factors that is taken into consideration when valuing a personal injury claim is the percentage of fault. The extent to which you are at fault will affect how much compensation you are likely to receive, even though the insurance adjuster has already come up with a figure.
Although determining who is at fault may not be easy, both the injured party and the insurance company will have a good idea as to who was at fault, and how responsible they are. If for example, you were 50% responsible for your accident, the figure that the adjuster had originally come up with will be reduced by this amount. For example, if the adjuster determined that you should be paid $25,000 for your injuries and medical bills, but it is found that you are 50% responsible, the figure will be reduced by 50%, which means you will receive $12,500.
If you currently are suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘How will Insurers Value your Personal Injury Claim?’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.