Have you been injured due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you may be dealing with a pile of mounting medical bills. More importantly, his injury may affect his ability to earn an income and leave him unable to perform his job duties and earn income.
This is a difficult situation. therefore, you should focus on (a) recovering from your injury and (b) seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, in most cases, it means you’ll have to deal with your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurer.
Either way, it is vital to understand how insurance companies calculate personal injury claims. Knowing this will help you determine how much money to expect from the settlement and how much to pay.
Note: You should not rely on the insurance company’s estimate of the value of your claim because insurers are concerned with protecting their bottom line and increasing their profits. insurance companies make money by undervaluing and denying claims. that’s how business works.
For this reason, it is important to have an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney on your side. Our Valdosta personal injury attorneys help clients in Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee deal with insurance companies. We’ll help you calculate personal injury claims to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
what factors affect the value of my personal injury claim?
The amount of a personal injury settlement is much more than the sum of your medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. When calculating the value of your claim, the insurance company must consider a variety of factors to arrive at fair value:
- the full cost of your medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, surgeries, medications, hospital bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and anything else related to the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of your injury;
- the cost to repair or replace your damaged property;
- If your vehicle is damaged, it is vital to consider the value of your car, its condition at the time of the crash, mileage, and other factors;
- how many days or weeks you had to miss work because of your injury;
- how the injury affects your earning capacity;
- the degree of interruptions to daily life;
- whether the accident or injury caused any trauma or mental or emotional distress;
- the recovery schedule;
- if the expectation is full of recovery;
- the strength of your legal arguments and the availability of evidence to support your injury claim.
These are not the only factors to consider when evaluating your personal injury claim. Unfortunately, many insurers willfully neglect or ignore factors that can increase the value of your claim. As a result, the insurer may end up offering to settle your claim for less than you deserve.
It is best to consult with a Nashville personal injury attorney in your state to analyze your particular situation and determine all of your past, present and future, short-term and long-term losses and damages.
How do insurance companies determine the value of personal injury claims?
Generally, when you are injured at the fault of another person, the at-fault party’s insurance company may cover the following expenses and damages:
- medical expenses derived from the accident
- damage to property, such as your vehicle
- loss of income due to your inability to perform your duties
- pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other non-economic damages caused by the accident and injuries
- compensation for disfigurement or permanent disability, if any
- minor injuries: your medical expenses are usually multiplied by 1.5 to 3.
- medium injuries: the sum of the medical bills is multiplied by 3 to 4.
- serious or permanent injuries: the total amount of medical expenses can be multiplied by 5 or more.
In personal injury cases where the claimant is not seeking non-economic damages (for example, pain and suffering, mental anguish, compensation for disfigurement, and others), determining the value of a claim is a straightforward process: all you What you need to do is add up medical bills, the cost to repair or replace property, lost wages, and other services you can afford, like car rental.
the resulting figure will be the sum of the recoverable economic damages. For non-economic damages, which are more subjective, the insurance company will have to use one of the methods to calculate the value of your claim.
Unlike personal injury attorneys, insurance companies often rely on unique calculators and less than ideal algorithms to estimate your damages and losses. however, such methods cannot accurately determine the claimant’s damages, which is why attorneys take a more personalized approach when calculating personal injury claims to ensure the client receives the full compensation to which they are entitled.
what is the damage formula?
Insurance companies often use a so-called “damage formula” to estimate the claimant’s damages and losses. the insurer first establishes the sum of the medical expenses of the injured person after the accident.
To determine the claimant’s compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, the insurance company will multiply the sum of all medical bills by a certain number depending on the severity of the injury:
The insurer will then add the lost wages to the resulting figure, which will be the starting point for negotiations. From this point on, the discovery of more facts and evidence may change the amount of the settlement.
what is the multiplier method?
Many insurance companies use the multiplier method to assign a dollar value to a claimant’s non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. As the name implies, the method works by applying a multiplier (usually a number from 1 to 5) to the sum of the injured person’s special damages, including medical bills, property damage, and lost property. income.
for example, if your medical expenses total $10,000, while the cost to repair your car after the accident is $5,000, and your injury and recovery resulted in $2,000 in lost wages, the insurance company will multiply the sum of your damages specials: $17,000 – for a certain multiplier that generally ranges between 1 and 5. in most cases, insurers use 3 as the multiplier. if that is the case, your settlement amount will total $51,000.
The multiplier depends on the severity of the claimant’s injury, recovery time, the presence of aggravating circumstances, and many other factors. in some cases, the multiplier may be greater than 5 (for example, if the at-fault party was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident).
what is the per diem method?
The third method insurance companies use to calculate victim pain and suffering and other non-economic damages is the “per diem” method.
If you know Latin, “diem” translates to “day.” With this method, your non-economic damages are calculated based on a daily rate.
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means you can demand a certain dollar amount for each day (per day) you suffer from the injuries and pain caused by the at-fault party.
how reliable and accurate are online settlement calculators?
Online settlement calculators may be able to give you a very rough estimate of how much your personal injury claim is worth. however, you should not rely too heavily on its accuracy.
Online personal injury settlement calculators are not 100% (or even 70%) accurate in most cases. those online calculators use unique formulas and questionable algorithms to determine the value of your claim.
Unlike a personal injury attorney, a calculator will not consider all of the unique circumstances and factors associated with your injury to accurately estimate the value of your claim. That’s why it’s best to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and detail-oriented Atlanta personal injury attorney. here at howe.law we review your unique case and calculate how much your claim is worth based on the circumstances.
how can your fault affect how personal injury claims are calculated?
The amount of the settlement also depends on your degree of fault. therefore, if you were partially responsible for causing the accident, your compensation will most likely be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence.
Most states use either the pure comparative negligence system or the modified comparative negligence system. mississippi uses the former. under the pure comparative system of fault, victims can recover damages regardless of their degree of fault (miss. code § 11-7-15). In other words, you can seek compensation for your injuries even if you are more than 50% at fault.
However, things are different if you live in Georgia or Tennessee, which use modified comparative negligence law, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7 for Georgia and TCA § 29-11-103 for Tennessee. Under the modified comparative fault system, you cannot claim compensation if your degree of fault exceeds 50%.
you need a personal injury attorney to calculate personal injury claims
As you can see, online settlement calculators are unreliable and inaccurate. insurance companies are out for their own profit and are not interested in settling your claim for a fair amount.
This is why you need an Alpharetta personal injury attorney to:
- investigate your particular case;
- calculate how much your claim is worth; and
- fight for fair and maximum compensation.
Schedule a free initial consultation with our Tennessee personal injury attorneys at howe.law to provide you with an accurate estimate. Call 844-876-4357 for a case review.