If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering how your settlement will be handled by a claims adjuster and calculated by an insurance company.
What is the settlement value of a personal injury case?
What factors go into the decision?
How do they calculate the compensation and/or damages you are eligible for?
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how car accident settlements are calculated and the factors that may reduce the settlement value of your case.
How Do Insurance Companies Calculate a Car Accident Settlement in Ohio?
Historically, a claims adjuster would manually take down your information and provide the calculations for your car accident claim. The modern approach to calculating a car accident claim and settlement value doesn’t quite have the same human element it used to.
Today, when a claims adjuster takes your information, they enter it into a specialized piece of software. The software runs an algorithm that automates most of the accident claim assessment and valuation process for them.
The program is able to provide a settlement value based on high-level data the insurance adjuster provides it — vehicle information, policies, driver information, accident reports, etc. Note: This can include any call recordings they have of you discussing the details of your accident with them as well as medical records from your doctors.
These programs can take this information and reference it against hundreds of thousands of other “similar claims.” Insurance companies use software to streamline and automate processes, which saves them a lot of time and money. Using a software program also eliminates human sympathy or rationale that a claims adjuster may have.
Unfortunately, profit is their top priority. Far more so than taking care of the health, well-being, lost wages, pain, suffering, and accident-related expenses of car accident victims. Insurance companies will always put their profits before people.
The problem with an automated settlement calculation is that there is no room for nuance. It likely won’t factor in critical information that may be totally unique to your claim vs. others in their database, such as…
- The variety and severity of your injuries
- Current and future medical care expenses for your injuries
- What you’ve personally lost in wages while being injured and out of work
- Pain and suffering damages that are totally unique to you
- Critical details of how your accident impacts your personal and professional life
All of these elements play a major role in putting together the full scope of economic and non-economic losses you have suffered from your car accident that are totally unique to you and your claim.
If insurance adjusters’ best interests are in preserving capital, and they (and their software) don’t factor in all of these data points and unique aspects of your accident, how can they possibly offer you a fair settlement?
How Do You Respond to a Low Settlement Offer?
We highly recommend you do not speak to a claims adjuster on your own, negotiate your claim, or accept an offer before you contact a personal injury attorney.
The best way to respond to a low settlement offer (or any settlement offer) is with experienced legal representation from our attorneys.
In our experience, it’s rare to see insurance adjusters make fair initial settlement offers to any car accident victim.
In fact — because of the company’s financial interests — it’s commonplace for them to downplay accident victims’ injuries and expenses. This leads them to propose inadequate settlement offers that are far less than what is necessary to cover the damages, lost wages, and expenses incurred by victims.
This is especially true if they are aware that you do not have legal representation.
If you choose to negotiate your claim on your own, you could be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars that you may not only be entitled to by law, but that you may need to cover critical expenses and losses associated with your accident.
Insurance companies are also aware that not all personal injury attorneys or firms are the same. Some firms have reputations for accepting first offers or refusing to file a lawsuit for their client. Insurance companies track these firms and know just how little it will take to resolve claims with them. At GBM Law, we have a reputation of being true trial attorneys who will file a lawsuit and go to trial, which equates to better settlement offers because insurance companies know we are not bluffing.
Don’t go into debt over your car accident injury.
Our Ohio personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in representing our clients’ best interests — fighting for fair settlements in negotiation, renegotiation, and litigation against the insurance companies.
How Do You Negotiate with an Insurance Adjuster?
As mentioned, we recommend you never negotiate with an insurance adjuster alone.
A personal injury attorney should negotiate your claim or case for you.
Our injury attorneys work closely with all our clients to put together a full scope of the unique economic and non-economic losses they have and may have experienced as a result of their accident, without leaning on generalized outputs from claims software. Each claim, case, and settlement we work on and build is totally unique to each of our clients.
To further support our clients, our attorneys can discreetly reference detailed records of similar claims and cases we’ve worked on in the past. We can use this along with professional insights from doctors, engineers, vocational experts, economists, and/or other specialized experts we have worked with in the past to help us gain a better understanding of the nature and severity of your accident, and the current and future damages you may incur as a result.
These resources can give us indispensable leverage in building the value and validity of your claim.
To help our clients even further, our firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay for anything of our legal services unless we are able to successfully settle your claim or case.
Get the Car Accident Settlement You Deserve with GBM Law
Do not hurt your case or accept a low settlement offer — contact us now to speak with the attorneys at GBM Law.