When you have been involved with a car accident, you deal with getting immediate treatment, recovering from physical injuries, having your vehicle repaired or replaced and getting adequate compensation for your accident. Often times, the amount that an insurance company offers to cover the cost of your expenses and financial burdens is significantly less than a victim expects. This unfair treatment can be quite devastating. If the amount that you are given for compensation is less than medical bills that you have accrued due to your injury, or less than wages lost, you can find yourself with an enormous debt.
Many victims who have been involved in auto accidents often wonder how an insurance company goes about evaluating a personal injury claim. At Harris and Graves, your local Columbia car accident lawyer, we want you to know the ins and outs of pursuing compensation. Here is an overview of how an insurance company determines the amount that is offered for compensation.
1. Grievances that Insurance Companies Must Compensate
Determining the worth of your personal injury claim starts with knowing what is applicable for compensation. The insurance of the person who was liable for the accident will be charged with reviewing and adjusting the claim, which automatically puts the victim on the defensive end. Compensation is meant to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Wages lost due to an accident related injury
- A permanent disability
- Psychological damages
- Damage to property
It is important to consider all when you are filing your claim with your insurance company. Your company is on the front line when it comes to negotiating with the insurance provider of the liable party. Be sure that you have recorded information to the best of your ability.
2. How Damages are Calculated
One would think that the easiest way to determine the amount of awarded compensation would be to add up the cost of damages, accrued debts and lost wages. This is rarely how things work with the insurance company. There is no going rate for pain and suffering, missed experiences or psychological damages. The cost of medical expenses, or “medical special damages,” is added up at the beginning of the claim adjustment process. This is used as a base figure to determine what other amounts should be added for “general” damages.
In the case of minor injuries, the amount of the medical expenses is often multiplied by 1.5 or two. If the injuries are more serious to chronic, the amount is multiplied by five. In the most extreme cases, the multiplier can be as large as ten. After this, the adjuster will add in any lost income. The resulting figure is the number at which insurance companies begin negotiations for actual compensation.
3. Percentage of Faults
There is always the question of who was at fault, or if any other factors contributed to the injuries of a victim, such as not wearing a seatbelt. This has a drastic impact on the amount that an insurance company is willing to pay. There is not exact formula to how this is figured into the amount, but most adjusters will factor in whether a driver was 100 percent at fault, or if the other driver bore a bit of the fault as well.
Pursue Your Claim with a Columbia Car Accident Lawyer
If you were in an automobile accident and wish to pursue adequate compensation from a personal injury claim, contact a representative with Harris and Graves, your local Columbia car accident lawyer. For more information regarding your claim or to learn about our areas of practice, contact us today.