No matter how responsible or careful you are, you can still become the victim of an accident due to negligent behavior on the part of someone else. If you have suffered an injury or your property has been damaged in an accident, you may be wondering if legal action is worth pursuing. Chief among your concerns is whether filing a claim or pursuing a lawsuit will be worth your time and effort financially.
Personal injury and property damage cases vary greatly, so it is nearly impossible to answer this question without first hearing the specifics of your case. With this in mind, let’s look at how you might estimate the value of your claim so you can make an informed decision about whether to pursue legal action.
Determining value through insurance policies
If you file a claim with an insurance company, an “adjuster” will be assigned to investigate your case and determine how much your claim is worth. By using their insurance company’s formula for processing claims, an adjuster will propose a settlement based on both monetary and non-monetary losses, as well as how fault for the accident is split between the plaintiff and the defendant.
When working with an insurance company, it is important to remember that insurance adjusters are trained to protect the insurance company’s interests and bottom line. An adjuster will focus on keeping your settlement as low as possible while also avoiding a lawsuit.
What gets factored into a settlement offer?
In a personal injury or vehicle damage case, an adjuster will add up the total medical or property damage expenses. Compensation for medical expenses and vehicle damage is much easier to determine than compensation for long-term pain and suffering or mental anguish. Both vehicle damage and medical expenses are referred to as “special damages” while long-term suffering and pain are categorized as “general damages.”
Another factor you will want an insurance adjuster to consider is lost wages due to injuries. You are entitled to reimbursement for income you lost while recovering, as well as additional missed work opportunities. To be reimbursed for lost income, you must show that you missed work because of your accident and injuries, and how much money you would have made if you had not been injured.
The amount of compensation offered for general damages is based on the monetary value of the special damages incurred in an accident. To factor general damages into your settlement, an insurance adjuster multiplies the total value of the special damages in your case by a number that corresponds with the severity of the case.
Reach out to a knowledgeable trial attorney in New York and New Jersey
Personal injury and property damage cases can be incredibly complex, and the last thing you want to worry about when you are recovering from an accident is whether you will be properly reimbursed for the damage to you and your property. At Kreizer Law, we know how to successfully fight for the settlement you deserve. Call (732) 334-6457 or contact us online for a free consultation today.