How Insurance Companies Evaluate the Value of a Claim
Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligent conduct can be a life-changing event that brings physical, emotional, and financial hardship. In such challenging times, you may consider filing a personal injury claim to get compensation for your damages and losses. However, you may not know what amount of money would be fair to cover your damages and losses if you do not understand how insurance companies evaluate the value of a personal injury claim.
Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter can explain the factors examined by insurance companies when evaluating claims and ensure that you can take all steps necessary to maximize the value of your claim. Slechter Law Firm, PLLC serves injured victims in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as Lexington and other parts of the state.
Each Case Is Unique
No two personal injury cases are exactly the same. Each case is unique and requires a thorough evaluation by the insurance company and your attorney. The evaluation process will take into account a wide variety of factors, including the type and severity of the injury, medical treatment required, and potential long-term impact on the victim’s life. The age, occupation, and overall health of the victim may also be considered.
It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies are in business to make a profit. As a result, they may offer a lower settlement than what you deserve in an effort to save money. That is why it is best to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to help you negotiate with the insurance company and fight for you to be fairly compensated for your injuries.
Factors That May Be Considered
Factors that insurance companies consider when evaluating the value of personal injury claims include:
1. The type and severity of the injury suffered
The type and severity of the injury you suffered are the most critical factors that determine the value of your personal injury claim. The more severe your injury is, the higher the likelihood of significant compensation you might receive. For instance, if you suffered a brain injury, paralysis, loss of a limb, or suffered any serious or catastrophic injury, your settlement may be much higher than if you only suffered minor bruises.
2. A pre-existing injury or conditions
If you had a pre-existing injury or condition before the accident, the insurance company may argue that your injury is not a result of the insured’s negligence. However, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot file a personal injury claim. You can still receive a settlement if your pre-existing condition worsened due to the accident or if the accident aggravated an underlying injury.
3. Statements from experts and witnesses and the strength of your claim overall
The strength of your personal injury claim largely depends on the statements from witnesses and experts and evidence presented by your attorney. Your attorney may consult with medical experts, industry specialists, or accident reconstruction professionals to help build a compelling case for you. Witnesses may also provide valuable information that can help strengthen your claim.
4. Your expenses to date
The expenses you incurred due to the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, play a crucial role in determining the value of your personal injury claim. Your attorney will help you calculate the total cost of your losses to ensure that you receive proper compensation.
5. The impact of your injury on your earning capacity
If your injury has affected your ability to work and earn a living, it can significantly impact the value of your personal injury claim. You may lose wages and job opportunities due to your injury, making it challenging to pay bills and support yourself financially. Your attorney will help calculate the damages you suffered and help you receive compensation to cover your financial losses.
6. The impact of your injury on your daily activities and your ability to enjoy life
Injuries can not only cause physical pain and financial hardships but also affect your mental and emotional well-being, your daily activities, and your ability to enjoy life. Your attorney will help ensure that you receive compensation for all aspects of your life that were negatively impacted by the accident.
Your Actions Factor In
When pursuing compensation for your injuries, it is essential to be aware of how your actions can impact the value of your claim. For these purposes, you need to understand two legal doctrines:
Comparative negligence. The pure comparative negligence doctrine in Kentucky allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they are partly responsible for the accident that caused their injuries. However, the amount of damages they can recover will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 25% responsible for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 25%.
Duty to mitigate damages. Another critical factor that can affect the value of your personal injury claim is the failure to mitigate damages. This means that the plaintiff must take reasonable steps to mitigate their losses. For example, if you suffer a broken ankle in a car accident and your doctor recommends physical therapy, you must attend those sessions to mitigate your damages. If you fail to do so, the defendant may argue that your damages should be reduced by the amount that you could have mitigated.
These two doctrines can significantly affect your personal injury case’s value and the potential damages you could recover.
Steps You Can Take to Maximize Compensation
There are certain things you can do to increase the likelihood that you are receiving the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
1. Document Everything
You must document everything related to the accident that caused your injury, including medical bills, photos, videos, police reports, and witness statements.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Getting prompt medical care ensures your health and safety and also documents your injury and can provide evidence for your claim.
3. Do Not Settle Too Quickly
It may be tempting to settle quickly and move on from your injury, but settling too quickly can result in less compensation than you deserve.
4. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney is a crucial step in maximizing your compensation. They can help you navigate through the complex legal process, ensuring that you are aware of all the legal rights you enjoy as a victim.
5. Be Prepared to Go to Court
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, be prepared to go to court to fight for your compensation.
Get the Support of a Skilled Attorney
The husband-and-wife legal team at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC, helps injured victims pursue fair and full compensation for their injuries when injured in various types of accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, sidewalk accidents, slip and fall accidents, and others. Get the support and guidance of Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter to determine how much your personal injury case is worth. Schedule a free case evaluation today.