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How Do Insurance Companies Determine Settlement Amounts?

Jan 19, 2022 | Personal Injury


Insurance companies will try to offer you the lowest possible settlement amount they think you’ll accept. That’s why it’s smart to not accept their first offer, but each case is unique and requires careful evaluation.

Proving what your case is worth will require bringing forth evidence related to medical care, missed work, challenges in caring for your home, and much more. Indiana personal injury attorneys are skilled at proving a settlement value to aid you in presenting your case and securing a settlement that will cover your existing and long-term expenses related to your injuries.

Calculating a Personal Injury Settlement

Injury victims who choose to go it alone when negotiating with an insurance company often leave out several expense areas not realizing the full impact the accident has had on their personal finances.

When calculating a personal injury settlement, an attorney evaluates the total cost of each of these expenditures:

  • Medical expenses: these are some of the simplest expenses to calculate because they have a clear total cost.
  • Future medical expenses: victims often forget to include future expenses in their calculations of a settlement. But the ongoing care you need for a medical condition can exceed the cost of the initial care you’ve received. Calculating the lifelong expense of an injury is complicated and requires expertise.
  • Missed work: this is another area of injury expenses that is fairly easy to calculate since you’ll use your standard rate of pay and any regular overtime that you receive to calculate it. When you miss work due to medical appointments or because you physically cannot work, you should include missed work in your settlement calculations.
  • Reduced earning capacity: this is another area of expenses that accident victims often forget when calculating their settlement amounts. Long-term or permanent injuries can greatly reduce your earning capacity. You should include that in your settlement calculations.
  • Pain and suffering: this aspect of a personal injury settlement is very hard to calculate. That’s because measuring pain and suffering is complicated and does not have a specific dollar amount. Your attorney will review your injuries and the medical care required to help come to a fair settlement amount.
  • Lost household work: when you’re injured, you can’t complete your normal household chores and work. That means you have to hire it out or other household members must pick up that work. This can put strains on your household and your finances. Many victims forget to include this aspect of their injuries when calculating a fair settlement amount.

How Insurance Coverages Impact Total Settlement Amounts

Ultimately, the total amount the insurance company can offer you for your injuries will come down to the coverage limits in the insurance policy. Some insurance policies only meet the state limits, which means there won’t be tons of money for the company to payout regardless of how severe your injuries are.

An attorney can help you review the policy limits to understand what is fair based on those limits. You should not allow an insurance company to strong-arm you into a settlement claiming limitations without seeing the policy language.

And if you reach the maximum policy limit and you haven’t received adequate coverage for your care, your Indiana personal injury attorney can review your options with you to pursue those fees elsewhere.

Injury Lawyers Who Care

Suffering financially after an injury is unnecessary. You should not feel bad standing up for yourself to ensure you receive a fair settlement that offsets your expenses and the inconveniences you faced due to the accident. 

For a free case evaluation, contact Stewart & Stewart. We’ll help you evaluate settlement offers and protect your rights when negotiating with an insurance company. 

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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall,  truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.