What is my case worth?
The quick answer is probably more than what the other driver’s insurance company is offering.
A recent insurance industry study has concluded that auto accident injury claims settle for an average of three to four times more when the claimant is represented by an experienced personal injury law firm.
Certain factors that the insurance companies consider in deciding the settlement value of your injury claim are as follows:
a. The liability policy limit of the at fault driver;
b. The liability policy limit of the owner of the vehicle being driven by the at fault driver;
c. The coverage of your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.
The settlement value will also depend on whether or not you have minor or major damage to your auto.
Whether your injuries are fully resolved with minor treatment.
Whether you are still having pain or still having medical treatment.
The type of injury you suffered. Injuries to neck, back or spinal cord are extremely serious whereas a minor sprain or strain which resolves is not. When it comes to brain injury, lost consciousness or post traumatic amnesia, is considered by the insurance company.
Whether or not you suffered fractures and have had surgery because of the fractures.
The amount of time you missed work;
Being in an accident with a commercial truck.
If you are injured in an accident with a commercial truck the minimum truck policy is much higher than automobiles. Under Federal law, trucks are required to have $750,000 in bodily injury liability insurance.
How do insurance companies determine the value of my case?
Insurance companies use software programs to determine the value of a case for themselves, meaning what they want to offer to settle before going into litigation and then trial. One of these programs is called Colossus. It is used by many insurance companies including Allstate.
What are the items of value for Colossus?
a. Your diagnosed injuries;
b. Your symptoms and the length of your symptoms;
c. The medical treatment and duration of such treatment;
d. What specialists you were referred to and did you go to these specialists with consistency?
e. Diagnostic testing such as MRIs and EMGs;
f. Your doctor’s diagnosis;
g. Your doctor’s prognosis;
h. The type of doctors you used;
i. Your Impairment level. Impairment level means lifestyle impact including your inability to return to work, any disability, limitation of household activities, etc.;
j. Whether you have any previous conditions, prior injuries, prior insurance claims or prior injury related lawsuits;
Your lawyer. Today, insurance companies keep track of your lawyer and his track record. Does the lawyer settle cases or are they experts in personal injury? Bad faith litigation has exposed that some insurance companies will pay a settlement of up to four times or more if you have an attorney who is an experienced personal injury specialist and whose reputation is to work up extensively a personal injury claim.
Do I need a lawyer?
The good news is, maybe not. The vast majority of automobile accidents are minor and you do not need to hire a lawyer for a minor accident.
However, if you are hurt in a car accident you should speak with an experienced lawyer such as Nadrich & Cohen. It is a good idea. We can help answer your legal questions and make sure you are protecting all of your legal rights. We also know what your case is worth because this is all we do. We often see when people come to us that the at fault insurance company is already attempting to take advantage of them because they are unrepresented.
We see that when people are not represented by a personal injury law firm that insurance company adjusters make a low ball settlement offer. That is why insurance companies immediately contact accident victims and try to settle their claims shortly after a car accident. It is in their financial interest to settle before a lawyer is hired.
Insurance company data has shown that an injured party represented by a personal injury law firm may cost the insurance company up to four times more than an unrepresented injured party claimant. This study was performed by McKinsey & Company consulting hired by Allstate, the “Good Hands” people.
If you are injured from a car accident or any other type of personal injury matter you owe it to yourself to speak with a Nadrich & Cohen representative. Call us at 1-800-718-4658. We are a qualified and experienced accident law firm.