One of the first questions we ever get from our clients involving injuries is “How does an insurance company value my motor vehicle accident claim?”
In 2002, I started a law firm that spent the better part of a decade representing some of the largest insurance companies in the United States. In 2010, we decided that we didn’t want to represent insurance companies anymore, for a lot of reasons, and we wanted to start representing individuals and policy holders in insurance disputes.
When we got to the issue of evaluating claims associated with motor vehicle accidents, we were able to come to that situation with a great deal of knowledge regarding how insurance companies go about putting a number on any kind of accident, especially motor vehicle accidents, involving what are commonly referred to as “soft tissue injuries”.
How does an Insurance Company Value my Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
Well there’s a series of factors that an insurance company will look at:
Quantum of Costs
The first factor, usually, is the quantum of costs associated with the actual injury itself for medical coverage. Meaning, that if someone’s had five hundred dollars worth of medical bills versus fifty thousand dollars worth of medical bills, that in and of itself becomes an element that they base their calculation upon.
Health of the Individual Injured
The second issue, is the health of the individual injured party. Now what I mean by that is what was their physical condition prior to the accident juxtaposed to what it is today. Those are commonly referred to as pre-existing injuries. For example, we just spoke with a client the other day who had been involved in a very serious rear end collision about six months ago and has just finished treatment for the injuries associated with their neck involving a cervical fusion.
Unfortunately, two weeks ago she was involved in another rear end collision. I had a couple of pieces of advice for her, the first one being take the bus. But more importantly, that we needed to gather all of the medical records associated with her original injuries and start comparing the objective data that the doctors gathered when she arrived for the second injury. Because pre-existing injuries become an important piece of how you value a case like this.
Future Medical Expenses
The other, and probably the last most important is what kind of medical expenses will this individual face in the future associated with this injury. That can be very difficult to calculate. But if you look at the specific injuries, you’re able to establish that some injuries will heal while others will not and will require treatment for the balance of their lives.
These are many of the factors that the insurance companies look at and are important for you to consider when determining whether or not you would want to accept a particular settlement offer in a motor vehicle accident.