The term “insurance” should be associated with other terms such as compensation and protection. Ideally, it is a concept that provides people with a sense of security and safety. Unfortunately, this is many times not the case when it comes to insurance companies and how they evaluate personal injury claims. The personal injury lawyers at Robert White Attorney at Law show just how insurance companies evaluate personal injury claims and offer assistance to ensure you receive fair compensation for your loss.
What are insurance companies required to compensate?
Insurance companies offer multiple policies for a variety of reasons, but in general, they all offer compensation for similar losses. Insurance policies offer medically-related compensation for expenses associated with medical care, injuries resulting in permanent physical disabilities and emotional distress caused by the injury. Additionally, companies should compensate for any lost income and lost expenses that result from an inability to work, attend school, go on vacation or attend special events due to the injury. Finally, insurance companies are required to provide compensation for any property that has been damaged.
Damages Formula: Putting a Dollar Amount on Your Pain
We’ve established what insurance companies are required to compensate, but how do they determine the amount of money to pay? There’s obviously no monetary amount that can be placed on pain and suffering, so insurance adjusters start with the “medical special damages.” Also known as “specials,” this amount is the total medical expense related to the injury. Adjusters arrive at this value through claim negotiations and use it as a base amount to determine how much they need to compensate the injured person for their monetarily unspecific losses.
In order to come up with a dollar figure for one’s “general damages,” adjusters multiply the dollar amount of “special damages” by 1.5 or 2 for minor injuries and by up to 5 to possibly 10 for more serious or extreme injuries. Any income lost as a result from the injuries is then added to the total. The total of this formula, however, is not the finalized compensation amount, but rather the base amount from which to begin negotiations.
Determining Who is at Fault
Finally, the insurance adjuster negotiates with you to determine who is responsible for the majority of the fault. This determination has the biggest influence on how much the insurance company is likely to compensate. The approximate percentage of fault that you are responsible for, the comparative fault percentage, is removed from the damages formula total, resulting in the final amount that the insurance company will compensate. Unfortunately, this final amount is substantially less than what the injured person deserves or needs. This is where a personal injury lawyer from Robert White Attorney at Law can step in on your behalf to get you fair compensation for your losses.