The amount of compensation produced by a personal injury case varies based on a number of factors such as the nature of the accident, the damages occurred during the accident, and whose fault the accident was.
What Will My Insurance Company Pay For?
The first step in determining the value of an injury claim is to know and understand the financial, physical, and emotional damages for which an insurance company may compensate a victim.
Most liability insurance companies will compensate a personal injury victim for:
- time spent out of work as a result of an injury
- medical expenses
- permanent disability
- damaged property
- emotional damages such as stress, anxiety, and depression
- negative effects on relationships with the victim's children
What Is My Insurance Company's Damages Formula?
Injury claims are filed with the main purpose of applying a monetary value to expenses and suffering associated with an injury, and then awarding that value to the victim. It's usually reasonably simple to add up medical expenses, property damages, and income lost while out of work, but there is no universal method for assessing appropriate compensation for emotional damages. So, insurance companies use a damages formula to determine the monetary value of a victim's emotional pain and suffering.
A company's insurance adjuster adds up the total medical expenses and uses the sum as a base number to calculate the monetary value of emotional damages. When injuries are reasonably minor, the adjuster will multiply the medical expenses by 1.5 or 2. When injuries are severe, the adjuster may multiply the medical expenses by up to 5. In extreme cases, the adjuster may multiply the medical expenses by up to 10.
Am I at Fault?
Once the adjuster multiplies the victim's medical expenses to determine the value of all financial, physical, and emotional damages, the company begins attempting to determine who is at fault in the injury. The company's adjuster determines which parties are at fault and applies percentage amount to each party. Whichever percentage of fault is applied to the victim is deducted from the damage value. For example, if a person is a victim of a fall in a store and the adjuster determines the store is 90% at fault and the victim is 10% at fault, 10% will be deducted from the victim's injury value.
For more information on valuing personal injury claims, contact Smiley & Smiley LLP.