Once you are involved in an accident, it is typical for you to make a call to your insurance company to notify them of the crash. When doing so, you simply aspire to be compensated for the losses incurred, and in the process, you should end up recovering what you actually lost. This is what your insurance policy agreement states, and it should be a straightforward process. However, insurance companies often diminish the value of their insured’s claims. This is true both for damages that are easy to determine (cost of repair) in addition to those difficult to determine (pain and suffering). In this article, we will go over the major factors that insurance companies consider before making you an offer for your claim, regardless of whether you hire a personal injury lawyer.
What Factors Does an Insurance Adjuster Look into When Determining the Amount to be Paid?
When an insurance adjuster has finished reviewing the documents related to your accident, the next thing they do is to put a valuation your claim. However, they must carefully and systematically take into account many details, from the circumstances of the accident to the damage to your body and property. Some of these factors can be easily quantified into monetary terms, while some are approximations based on subjective factors. This includes pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and permanent disability.
The insurance adjuster will also take into account factors that diminish the value of your claim. They will assess the credibility of your statements and look for any indication that your injuries are exaggerated or unrelated to the accident. While the insurance company will not likely deny an obvious claim, they will certainly highlight these factors to persuade you into accepting a much lower compensation than you rightfully deserve.
The Damages Formula
As mentioned earlier, some damages cannot be easily quantified into monetary terms. For this reason, the insurance company’s damages formula comes in. The insurance adjuster will use your medical bills and any other economic damages as the base. This includes time you missed from work, commonly referred to as lost wages. This amount may be used to determine the value of the non-monetary damages by multiplying the amount by one number when the damages are minor, or a higher number when damages are major. In extreme cases where the injuries are permanent or long lasting, the insurance company will take more time to personally evaluate each of the damages claimed.
While each insurance company operates differently, nearly all of them use a standard formula for calculating the value of your car accident case.
Apply a Discount: Comparative Fault
As noted earlier, determining who is fault after an accident is not always rocket science. Your insurance adjuster will review the evidence regarding the accident. They will look at the police report, any photos of the scene, and the recorded statements from the drivers and any witnesses.
Insurance adjusters will always be critical toward any claimant in researching the accident. They will get both sides of the story, and if necessary, hire their own experts to evaluate the crash.
For this reason, you should not be shocked when they try to discredit your version of the events. They evaluate the claim through a lens most favorable to their insured, and they will discount your damages by the percentage they can find you responsible. If fault is not obviously on their insured, they will likely offer nothing or apply a very significant discount to your damages.
Given that majority of accidents victims are unaware of their right for compensation; the insurance adjusters will always take advantage to benefit their insured and deny your claim. For this reason, it is highly advisable to hire a personal injury lawyer. A qualified personal injury lawyer will litigate your case for and seek the full compensation that you are rightly entitled to. Call our offices today for a free consultation.