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How much compensation do you deserve for your injuries?

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

Have you been in a car crash recently? Have you been a victim of a slip-and-fall accident? Then, you must be wondering about the compensation your insurance company should pay. You may have heard about a super-secret formula the insurance companies use to calculate the damages. While the formulas does exist, they are definitely not a secret. Also the formulas are only rough estimates that simply help companies get a gross estimate of the compensation, but it does not determine the final payout. They merely helps the insurance adjusters understand where they should begin bargaining.

Every personal injury claim may be worth a basic compensation and the adjusters use this formula to find out how much the claim is actually worth. The final decision depends upon many factors. Getting to know about the formula in detail should help you find out how it will influence your compensation claim. So let us first determine the different reasons an insurance company in a big city like say Chicago might pay an injured party:

  1. Pain and physical suffering
  2. Medical care and related expenses
  3. Lost wages in terms of missed work and other losses in income
  4. Loss of social engagement, family and educational experiences
  5. The emotional trauma that can result from all of the above
  6. The more severe your injuries are, the higher should be the compensation from the insurance company.
  7. The more invasive or expensive the medical treatment, the higher should be the damages.
  8. A more visible injury gets a higher payout from the insurance settlement provider.
  9. Severe and visible damages or any permanent effect of the injury gets a higher settlement value.
  10. The longer is your recovery period; the higher is the value of the compensation.

For any ordinary person, it might seem quite straight forward to calculate the money lost and spent from the losses in wages and payment of medical bills or therapy. However, estimating the emotional damage and suffering in terms of dollars is not an easy task. That is the primary reason the compensation formula exists.

Do you know how much your insurance company is thinking about paying?

The compensation formula varies from one state to another, but often the constants remain the same. The total medical expenses due to an accident and subsequent injury constitute the special damages or specials. The compensation a person might receive for emotional trauma, pain, and suffering and permanent disability are the general damages.

During the calculation of the total losses, the insurance adjuster usually considers the special damages as a constant and multiplies it by 1.5 to 3 to reach the final amount. He or she can also multiply the special damages by 5 if the injury is permanent, long-lasting or particularly debilitating. After his or her calculation, the adjuster will add the loss in wages to the number. All insurance settlement negotiations usually begin by the multiplication of the medical special damages by 1.5 to 5 and adding it to the lost income.

Why should you never mention the compensation formula during the negotiations?

During the negotiations, it is likely that the insurance companies will usually not tell you what formula they are using or that they are using any formula at all. When they tell you how much they think the claim is worth, they usually follow the basic rules of negotiations. It is generally smart to avoid letting them know about your know-how of the insurance settlement formula. However, you can do your homework to check the number you think your settlement should be worth. Since the specials and loss in wages remain constant in the calculations of both parties, the only variable is the factor they are multiplying the specials with. It can range between 1.5 and 5 depending on the severity of the injury. If their settlement offer is low, you can point out how much pain, suffering, and emotional trauma the accident has caused.

Do you even need a personal injury lawyer?

”Negotiating with the insurance company adjustors is not easy and in cases of a serious injury should be best left in the hands of an experienced attorney” says Willens Injury Lawyers in Chicago. That is especially true since they are highly trained professionals and insurance companies hire them to ensure that the claimants get the lowest possible settlement. Insurance companies are pro-profit corporations and getting an insurance settlement adjuster to agree to your point of view can be challenging. When insurance companies send their adjusters and legal team, you should also hire a personal injury attorney to be in your corner to uphold your interests. Personal injury lawyers have the experience and training to support the claims of their clients with the necessary evidence.

Here are a few things these personal injury attorneys know:

What can a personal injury lawyer do for you?

Some insurance companies and attorneys miss out the factor of lost opportunities that can influence the quality of life of a car crash or accident victim. A few weeks or months in a hospital or healing at home can affect much more than you might think at first. While receiving medical treatment in the hospital people might miss important meetings, conferences, seminars, coursework, or interviews. We have seen students miss admission paperwork deadlines due to invasive surgery and intensive recovery periods. It is possible to reinstate their jobs or positions in school after weeks of petitions and requests, but that is just added insult to the injury. It is imperative that you hire an attorney, who is skillful enough to include all factors that may have affected your life adversely as a result of the accident.

Without a talented and experienced personal injury attorney in your corner, it is hard to receive the full compensation you deserve. Apart from paying for medical expenses, you have missed work and time with your family. There is residual emotional trauma that you may have to deal with for the rest of your life. The liable party can never make up for all of your damages. Therefore, it is your right to ask for the compensation you truly deserve.