Learn How Insurance Companies Handle A Personal Injury Claim
For most people, the last thing they want to do is hash out their injuries with an insurance company.
Learning how insurance companies handle personal injury claims is vital to the value of your case.
After you file an injury claim, negotiating your settlement with an insurance adjuster may be a sticky process, but here are some tips to make things run smoother.
Insurance Companies Collect As Many Facts As Possible
After a claim is filed, the insurance adjuster will collect as many facts as possible before settling your claim, and will want to resolve your claim the cheapest way possible.
That’s how insurance companies make money, and their employees are well trained and experienced at achieving small settlements.
If an adjuster is unable to collect all necessary facts relating to your claim he/she will either not make an offer or will make a low offer.
After the case goes to suit, and he/she can still not obtain all important facts, the adjuster will still make a cheap offer or let the case go to trial. The reason for this is if facts cannot be collected, the insurance adjuster will have reason to believe the injured person is usually hiding something.
Questions the insurance company will ask
Before making a settlement offer, the adjuster will want to collect the following information:
- What the injured people say about how the accident happened, including a tape-recorded statement if the injured will submit one
- What the insured says about how the accident happened
- The police report prepared in connection with the accident
- All other written reports related to the accident
- All the injured persons medical records and bills related to the accident
- All of the injured person’s medical records going back as far as 20 years to all injuries to the same part of the body at issue to the current claim
- The injured person proof of earnings, if he/she is making a lost earnings claim
- Information about any prior personal injury claims made by the injured person
Missing Facts May Hurt Your Claim
Once all information is collected the insurer will analyze every piece thoroughly, and even if one page is noticed missing you bet he/she will ask your lawyer to provide the missing page.
Adjusters believe missing facts could be damaging to the plaintiff.
The value of a claim is based on liability and damages. Your injuries and financial loss (damages), and a connection of fault for your losses to the defendant (liability) are used to calculate a settlement amount.
How are Damages Calculated?
The insurance companies typically calculate damages when trying to determine pain and suffering, missed experiences, and lost opportunities. Although it is tricky to put a dollar amount on these losses adjusters, implement a “damages formula,” to reach a compensation value.
In the initial stage of negotiation, an insurance adjuster adds up the total medical expenses related to the injury. These expenses are referred as “medical special damages” or simply “specials.” This is the base figure used to calculate pain and suffering, and other non-monetary losses, which are called “general” damages.
If the damages are relatively minor, the adjustor multiplies that amount of special damages by 1.5 or 2. However if the injuries are painful, long-lasting, or severe, the special damages amount can be multiplied by up to 5. (the multiple can be as great as 10 in extreme cases). Next, any income lost is added as a result of injuries. That completes the formula, however, this figure is not the final compensation but only the number from which negotiations begin.
Considerations made by the insurance company
Along with calculating a settlement the adjustor will take into account two important pieces when evaluating the facts.
- Can the plaintiff prove the defendant was negligent, and what the plaintiff’s chances are of winning the trial?
- Also, how badly was the plaintiff injured, and what damages are the jury likely to award at the trial.
The insurance company also examines the intangibles-meaning facts and circumstances that are likely to sway a jury in one direction or another.
Significant Intangibles include:
- Whether potential witnesses have lied
- Whether the plaintiff appears to be a likable person or unlikable person
- Whether the plaintiff has a criminal record
- Whether the plaintiff has been treating with high-quality health care providers.
Being truthful throughout your claim
Lying about your personal injury claim will have an immense impact on the outcome. If a plaintiff lies and the lie is exposed, he/she will lose the claim. If the defendant, or one of the defendant’s witnesses, lies, typically this will be substantial on the verdict at trial. Adjusters are trained for this, and they will factor in lying or potential lying into the valuation of the claim.
Likewise, the demeanor of the plaintiff is an important aspect of valuing a claim. It’s human nature to react a certain way depending on your intricacies to a situation. Nice plaintiffs to better with juries. Nasty plaintiffs turn juries off. That is the natural moral of humankind and adjustors will consider a plaintiff’s quality when valuing a claim.
Other complications can arise when filing a personal injury claim; these are just a few examples.
If you have any questions relating to your personal injury claim or are experiencing issues settling your claim with an insurance company, contact our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers today.
- Car Accident Questions (7)
- Georgia Legal Help (7)
- Help after a Car Accident (6)
- car accident (5)
- car accident attorney (5)
- personal injury lawyer (5)
- Georgia Personal Injury Attorney (4)
- Georgia Truck Accident Attorney (4)
- Personal Injury Lawyers (4)
- Personal Injury Questions (4)
- Workers Compensation questions (4)
- personal injury attorney (4)
- personal injury claim (4)
- Accident Injury Help (3)
- Georgia Car Accident Injury Attorney (3)
- Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (3)
- Prescription Drug Error Attorneys (3)
- personal injury (3)
- Auto Accident Attorneys (2)
- Georgia Workers' Compensation Lawyer (2)
- Motorcycle Injury Attorney (2)
- Truck Accident Questions (2)
- Work Injury Attorney Atlanta (2)
- personal injury law firm (2)
- rear end accident (2)
- settlement (2)
- slip and fall attorney (2)
- wrongful death (2)
- Airbag Injuries (1)
- Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney (1)
- Truck Accident Attorney (1)
- Truck Accident Lawsuits (1)
- Truck Accident Lawyer (1)
- Workplace Injuries (1)
- accident injury lawyer (1)
- accident lawsuit (1)
- bicycle accident (1)
- car accident lawyer (1)
- car insurance (1)
- free legal advice (1)
- lawyer (1)
- legal questions (1)
- motorcycle accident (1)
- motorcycle accident attorney (1)
- motorcycle accident lawyer (1)
- motorcycle safety (1)
- speeding (1)
- t-bone accident (1)
- texting and driving (1)
- tow truck (1)
- tow truck service (1)
- trial (1)
- truck accident (1)
- work related car accident (1)
- February 2022 (1)
- January 2022 (1)
- November 2021 (3)
- October 2021 (2)
- September 2021 (1)
- August 2021 (4)
- July 2021 (1)
- April 2020 (1)
- March 2020 (3)
- January 2020 (1)
- November 2019 (2)
- October 2019 (2)
- September 2019 (3)
- August 2019 (1)
- July 2019 (2)
- June 2019 (1)
- September 2018 (2)
- July 2018 (1)
- June 2018 (1)
- March 2018 (1)
- February 2018 (1)
- December 2017 (1)
- November 2017 (1)
- September 2017 (1)
- July 2017 (2)
- May 2017 (2)
- March 2017 (2)
- February 2017 (2)
- January 2017 (1)
- December 2016 (2)
- November 2016 (1)
- October 2016 (4)
- September 2016 (4)
- August 2016 (2)
- July 2016 (3)
- June 2016 (7)
- May 2016 (3)
- April 2016 (4)