“How much is my case worth?”
In settling an auto injury claim, how much will you ask for from the insurance company?
In determining the value of your claim, you must take the facts of your case and look ahead. You project what a jury will award after a trial in the specific geographic region where you would try your case. This is true in every case, even though most cases never go to court. In general, more serious injuries with greater medical bills produce higher settlement values.
Also, insurance companies will try to avoid paying you anything. The will minimize any amount that they must pay. They will pay more for cases involving permanent injuries or death as long as these cases are properly prepared and carefully documented. However, the value of a personal injury case is based upon many factors. Below you will find 15 critical issues the insurance company will assess in determining the value for your auto injury claim.
1. Was the collision clearly someone else’s fault?
2. Was the responsible driver ticketed?
3. What are your medical bills?
4. What are the nature and extent of your injuries?
5. Should you expect future medical expenses?
6. Have you lost income as a result of your injuries?
7. Have any of your bills been paid by a third party, such as health insurance or Medicaid?
8. Are there liens against the proceeds of your case that you are responsible for paying?
9. Is there any permanent injury or loss of use of a particular part of the body?
10. Did you have any pre-existing injuries?
11. Did you have any particular susceptibility to injury?
12. Was the responsible driver driving for his or her employer at the time of the collision?
13. What are the limits of the responsible driver’s insurance policy?
14. Do you have any insurance coverage that may pay for some of your injuries?
15. Do you have a respected lawyer?
Securing a fair settlement offer is not magic. You don’t get fair compensation because of whom you know. Fair compensation is not the product of intimidation, “smooth talking,” or “bulldogging.” It is the result of hard work, knowledge, experience, organization, and determination. It is both an art and a science. It is about using the right combination of sticks and carrots at the right times. The objective in every injury case is to demonstrate to the insurance company that
1. You can pay us now, or
2. You can pay us later.
A respected auto accident lawyer can show the insurance adjuster, without arrogance or ego, that the company is going to have to pay this claim. He or she must meticulously document the evidence to show that the way that the adjuster can best do her job and save money for her company is by paying now instead of paying lawyers to defend the case and then end up paying you later.