The value of an insurance claim will vary based on the unique factors involved and how compelling the insurance adjuster believes your situation is. Many insurance companies judge a claim’s value based on both policy limits and how they think a judge or jury would rule in the case if you were to file a lawsuit.
Managing expenses is what the insurance company focuses on, and a lawsuit could cost them more money than settling with you out of court. That’s why the insurance company does digging and investigates your claim to better understand the circumstances that led to your injuries and how those circumstances could hold up in court.
Settlement numbers and values are variable and open to negotiation. That’s why hiring an attorney often benefits cases where insurance companies are involved to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Factors Insurance Companies Use to Calculate a Settlement
Insurance adjusters are tasked with closing claims efficiently and for as little money as possible. But to get to a settlement amount, they’ll evaluate specific factors.
First, the adjuster will review the policy limits. The insured chose coverage amounts to have when they purchased the insurance. This limit is the largest amount the insurance company will pay regardless of how high your expenses might be related to the incident.
Then, the insurance adjuster will begin reviewing the evidence in the case. This might include:
- The police report outlining the accident details. If the incident was a premises liability claim, such as a slip and fall, the adjuster might be reviewing an incident report instead.
- Medical bills to treat your injuries. This can include hospital stays, appointments with specialists, drugs and treatments for your ailments, therapy, mental health counseling, etc.
- Property damage proof, such as an appraisal or receipt for damage repairs. This is more common in car accident cases, but property damage can exist in other types of cases, such as in premises liability if you were carrying something. For example, if your smartphone was in your pocket at the time of a slip and fall, you might have up to $1,000 in expenses to replace it. You might also have your laptop in a briefcase on your way to a business meeting.
- Income verification data in the case of missed work or reduced capacity to work.
- Length of medical treatment for ailments to review impacts pain and suffering might have on your case.
Ways Insurance Adjusters Calculate Injury Settlements
Determining the value of a case is complicated, and many insurance companies are turning to software to aid in calculating these amounts. They can input factors into the software to tally initial settlement offers to present the victim with.
But much like manual tallies, initial settlements that software programs generate are low and likely won’t be adequate to meet the needs of injury victims.
There is no substitute for an expert review of settlement offers from insurance companies. You and your attorney are the only ones who can see the direct impacts your injuries have had on your life and will continue to have as you continue to heal and work through the adjustments to daily life.
Connect With Our Office for a Free Case Consultation
Personal injury attorneys are experts at calculating fair settlement amounts and negotiating with insurance companies to help reach fair compensation based on injuries and accident circumstances.
Before entering negotiations with the insurance company, you should at least meet with a personal injury attorney. This will arm you with the information you need to understand the value of your claim and tips for working with insurance companies to avoid common mistakes that can reduce settlement amounts.
This year, Stewart & Stewart proudly celebrates our 40th anniversary of treating clients like family. Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart today to put your case on the right path.