Last Update: 11/21/20
First, you need to know the average car accident settlement (see below) and then evaluate our list of 18 factors to consider before settling your injury-related car accident claim.
18 Issues to Consider When Deciding If The Auto Insurance Company’s Injury Settlement Offer Is Low
Settlement of an injury claim means analyzing a large amount of information to determine what amount of money is needed to fairly compensate an injured person to make them whole again. After all, no person wants to be re-victimized, especially by a car insurance company.
However, this analysis involves more than just physical injuries. There may be mental and psychological issues that need to be addressed too.
The components of any car accident injury settlement should include:
1. — Age of the injured person and their life expectancy
2. — Sex of the injured person
3. — Physical condition before the accident happened (Was he/she an athlete? Was she pregnant?)
4. — Mental state before the injury (Any history of depression?)
5. — Work and employment history
6. — Past earning history
7. — Change in life circumstances as a result of the accident – physical needs (wheelchair, etc.) short term
8. — Change in life circumstances as a result of the accident – physical needs (wheelchair, etc.) long term
9. — Altered health status in the long term because of the injury
10.– Lost ability to earn a living because of the injury
11.– Does the Victim have PTSD?
There may be additional components to the injury victim’s harm to be considered that are not as easily documented, including:
12.– Lost ability to enjoy life because of the injury
13.– Physical pain and suffering
14.– Mental pain and suffering
15.– Impact upon the spousal relationship
16.– Impact upon the relationship with children
Financial Factors When Evaluating A Car Accident Injury Settlement
Once these economic and non-economic components are evaluated, often with the input from experts in fields of physical therapy, psychology, etc., the analysis is not complete. There are other financial issues to consider, like:
17.– Economic value of the Dollar today and in the future (considering inflation, the time value of money, etc.)
18.– Manner in which claim is to be paid (lump sum, annuity, etc.).
Quick Tip: The Average Car Accident Settlement Is $30,000.00 (Details)
Should I accept the first offer from the insurance company?
Unfortunately, car accident victims will often accept a far lower settlement amount for their injuries than if they had hired an attorney or received a free legal evaluation. Based on years of experience, it’s highly likely the car insurance company’s first offer will be low. So, it’s not a good idea to accept the first offer.
How Do Insurance Companies View The Most Common Car Accident Injury Claims?
Insurance companies are notorious for disrespecting certain kinds of injuries — particularly injuries involving whiplash and soft tissue injuries which are common injuries in most car crashes and motor vehicle accidents. Injury claims involving these types of injuries are approached suspiciously by insurance carriers and often these settlement claim offers will be lower than they should be because the insurance company is low-balling things based upon their belief that whiplash and soft tissue injuries aren’t real or serious. See, The Case for and Against the MIST (Minor Impact Soft Tissue).
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you are not sure that the insurance company is making you a fair offer for your car accident claim, is to speak with a car accident lawyer who routinely examines accident facts, applies the law, and effectively directs a jury to a favorable verdict. Most personal injury lawyers who meet these criteria, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in-person) to answer your questions.
How does an insurance company decide how much they will pay to compensate someone for an injury?
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
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