We all expect insurance to cover our injuries in the event of an accident but when a claim goes to settlement what actually happens can be different.
Insurance is a business and that means maximizing profits when possible. It also means the settlement process is often a negotiation.
If you're been injured in a car crash or other accident and your insurance offers a settlement, it's hard to know if the amount is right. But there are some strategies that can help you get the money you deserve.
When it comes to valuing an insurance settlement, insurance companies generally try to value how much the case would be worth at trial.
That amount can be affected by how many witnesses were at the accident, any medical records indicating the extent of injuries, and evidence of any long-term therapeutic treatment needed.
There is no specific formula for how much a given injury is worth. It depends on the situation.
The people best able to value a claim are people familiar with how courts value personal injury suits. Insurance companies have some understanding of this because they deal with many claims every day.
But the insurance company wants to save money if possible. They're not interested in helping you maximize your settlement.
For insurance claims negotiation you need someone on your side.
An experienced lawyer will be in your corner. They have experience in court so they know how much to estimate a claim but they also know how to negotiate. If your attorney is receiving a contingency fee, they also have a reason to ask for more.
That means you'll get more out of the settlement too.
Dealing with an injury while bills pile up waiting for insurance money is a stressful time but don't give in to the first offer. Work with your attorney to understand what your injury is worth so you know you aren't being underpaid.