You’ll probably be talking to an insurance adjuster if you’re filing any type of personal injury claim. Therefore, your lawyer will tell you that it’s important that you understand exactly how personal injury claims work.
What makes insurance adjusters tick?
The pun notwithstanding, do you know what the primary goal of an insurance adjuster is? It’s not to ensure that you get the best settlement possible. No, it’s to ensure that the insurance company that the adjuster works for pays you as low of a settlement as possible. Yes, insurance adjusters, no matter how friendly they may seem to be, are really not on your side! In case you were wondering, adjusters are this way because they want to make sure that their employers make as much money as possible.
There is a silver lining in all of this. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that it comes in the fact that insurance adjusters are open to negotiation because they don’t want to encourage you to sue the defendant in court. If you were to win, then the insurance company would be forced to pay you a huge settlement.
How do insurance adjusters calculate your final settlement?
Insurance adjusters look at many factors when they calculate your final settlement amount. These include:
● Your actual current and future expenses (that are caused by or related to your accident)
● Lost income and wages – both present and future
● Pain and suffering
● Other negative effects that result from your injuries
It’s easy for insurance adjusters to calculate the actual expenses portion of your final settlement. Calculating the pain and suffering portion is harder though. They find that they have to use formulas in this instance. Insurance adjusters will also take the defendant’s policy limits and the strength of your case into account when calculating your final settlement.
If the defendant’s policy limit is $500,000, the largest settlement amount you can get is $500,000. It doesn’t matter if you have $800,000 in total expenses.
Merits of your case: Your settlement will be larger if you have a strong case than if you have a weak one. The reasoning is you would likely win in court with a strong case than with a weaker one.
Dealing with the insurance company: You want to hire a personal injury lawyer in Richmond Hills when dealing with the defendant’s insurance company. Personal injury lawyers are trained to communicate and negotiate with insurance companies. Therefore, your chances of winning a settlement are much higher.
Have enough tangible evidence of your personal injuries: These include medical records, medical bills, pay stubs, and more. Strong evidence strengthens your case and increases your chances of getting a higher settlement from the insurance company.
Send a demand letter: You send this letter to the defendant’s insurance company. It tells them what amount you consider to be acceptable as a settlement. It will also establish a base number that you can use when negotiating with the insurance adjuster.