When it comes to suffering injuries in an accident, what most people want is to be treated fairly by the insurance companies. Unfortunately, not only is the insurance company not looking out for a victim’s best interests, but it can also be hard to determine what a fair settlement can be because each case is unique. However, hiring a personal injury attorney to be on your side and deal with the insurance adjuster to ensure you get a fair settlement is always a good idea.
How is a Settlement Calculated?
Reaching an agreeable settlement is contingent upon a variety of factors. The cost of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more will be used to calculate a fair settlement. Each case is different, which leaves a lot of room for adjustments. For example, if you were in a slip and fall accident, and your friend was, too, it is not likely that you sustained the exact same injuries. In addition, one of you may have contributed in some way to your accident, and the insurance company will likely argue that your settlement should be discounted because of this. This is the concept of contributory negligence.
How Will My Attorney Argue My Settlement With the Adjuster?
The first thing your attorney will likely do is to establish liability. If you were rear-ended in an accident, for example, your attorney will use reports from the accident to show that the driver behind you was at fault. In some accidents, finding fault is fairly simple. In others it takes time. The insurance adjuster will likely attempt to argue that you had some sort of fault in the accident in an effort to reduce your compensation.
Successful arguments around the following items can make or break your claim:
- Medical Expenses – It is common for the insurance adjuster to argue that your treatment was excessive. Your attorney will examine the notes and defend your treatment as being necessary and ordinary for your injuries.
- Lost Income – If you lost income due to your injuries, the insurance adjuster will likely argue that you could have returned to work sooner than you did.
- Pain and Suffering – Your attorney will tell the story about your injury and humanize you to the insurance adjuster to increase the value of your claim when it comes to pain and suffering.
- Special damages – If your injuries resulted in you missing important events in your life such as a graduation or marriage, your attorney may argue for compensation for these special damages.
- Lawsuit Threat – One of the biggest reasons for hiring an attorney is that your attorney can threaten to file a lawsuit against the insurance company if they do not reach an agreeable settlement amount. Going through a lengthy court battle can be costly, and the insurance adjuster knows this.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
If you have been injured in an accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury to represent you. The attorneys at The Law Office of D. Hardison Wood will review your case with you, give you an idea of what your settlement might be, and then work to get you the settlement to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.