You’ll likely be hiring a lawyer once you’ve been involved in a personal injury accident. Your lawyer will tell you that one of your first points of contact will be with the adjuster from either your lawyer or the defendant’s insurance company. You’ll be told that it’s very important for you to understand the exact ways that the adjuster uses to calculate your final settlement. It will help you determine if you’re getting the ‘short end of the stick’ with the final settlement.
Talking to the insured person
If you were hurt in an accident, you’ll be making a third-party claim. The personal injury lawyer in St. Catharines will tell you that. The insurance adjuster is very interested in getting the insured person’s side of the story before proceeding further. The adjuster will also want to read any official documents related to the accident. These include police reports and medical records.
Analyzing your side of the story
You’re the claimant because you’re the one who is filing the claim. The insurance adjuster will want to know more about you so that he or she can determine the settlement amount to award you. That’s why the adjuster will research you online and scour databases to understand if you have a history of filing personal injury claims.
Get it in writing
Personal injury lawyer will inform you that you’re always better off if you are careful about the documents, you give the adjuster. The adjuster will call you and ask for these. Examples of relevant documents include medical bills and tax returns.The adjuster will scrutinize these documents. This will help him or her understand the settlement amount that you really deserve.
Calculating the settlement value
Personal injury lawyers know that the adjuster will consider the likelihood of your case going to court and winning and the final settlement amount the courts would likely award you when calculating the settlement value.
There are two types of damages: the ones that can be calculated easily and the ones that can’t be calculated easily. Determining the calculatable damages is easy. All the adjuster has to do is add the numbers up.
Calculating the intangible damages is more complicated. The adjuster usually takes all of the calculatable damages and multiplies that by a factor. Keep in mind that ‘soft’ medical bills are often reduced in value during the calculation process.
What should you do when you get the first settlement offer?
Your lawyer will tell you that you should never accept the first settlement offer because it likely will be a very low number. Indeed, now that you know exactly how insurance adjusters calculate settlement values you and your lawyer can work on getting the largest settlement possible from the defendant’s insurance company.