Because there are so many complex financial and legal issues surrounding insurance settlement, most people would really have no way of knowing whether or not a proposed settlement from the insurance company is a fair offer.
The Complexities of Calculating a Fair Insurance Settlement
If you’re not a legal professional and have never negotiated with insurance companies, the insurer may get away with an unfair settlement, and you will walk away with far less than you were actually entitled to recover.
This is because there are so many factors that come into play in a settlement, and it’s difficult to accurately account for it all. Often, it takes the assistance of expert witnesses to get a clear picture on what a fair settlement might be.
Contributing Factors for Your Indiana Car Accident Settlement
Some of the factors to take into consideration when estimating the value of your claim include:
- Your medical bills
- Your loss of wages while you were unable to work due to your injury
- Your future loss of wages because of a reduced capacity to work
- Loss of promotion or loss of job because of disability
- The way the injuries have affected you and your lifestyle
- The ways in which your injuries have affected your family
- Your loss of enjoyment in activities you once enjoyed
- Your injury’s effect on your marriage and other relationships
- Emotional issues that have developed as a result of the injury
Determining the Value of Your Claim
The above list is far from exhaustive. In order to begin putting a number on the value of a claim, your attorney will first ask you for all the medical bills and injury-related receipts you can produce. You will need to supply your income information as well. All of these expenses, called economic damages, are actually the easy part of estimating a claim’s value.
Next, your lawyer or other field expert will have to calculate your future losses. Your injury may cause you to work at a reduced capacity as you age, you may not be able to be as productive as you once were, or you may even be permanently disabled. Your claim should account for all of this. Plus, your future medical expenses will need to be added to the mix, which may include long-term or permanent treatments.
Lastly, you must consider your non-economic damages. These are the most difficult to calculate because they have no price tag. They include emotional, mental, and other intangible damages.
Avoid Signing Until You’ve Consulted an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
It’s important to understand that once you sign a settlement agreement, the case is closed and you cannot go back for more compensation. It doesn’t matter if your condition worsens, if you “forgot” to account for something on your claim, or if complications arise—once you sign on the dotted line, the case is closed.
Thus, accident victims often benefit from consultation with and representation from an attorney to evaluate any settlement offers and negotiate a fair settlement that accounts for all damages.
An Indiana car accident attorney can help you avoid the costly mistake of agreeing to a settlement that is too low to cover the damages you have sustained. In order to stay on track with your Indiana car accident claim, download a free copy of our eBook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims, and then contact an Indiana car accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group for a free case review.