Personal injury claims are filed successfully with each week that passes by. Claims pertaining to various sets of circumstances are the subject of a considerable volume of business between insurance companies and personal injury attorneys. Large claims can have the potential to affect someone’s life considerably and may leave the victim wondering if the settlement payout was fair.
The Basic Methodology of a Personal Injury Claim
A common example is any given case involving a two-car accident and a resulting trip to the emergency room. Let’s suppose our example represents Driver 1 who was rear-ended by Driver 2 while stopped and waiting at a red light. Driver 2 was distracted by a waving sign spinner on the roadside and failed to brake in time to avoid striking Driver 1 from behind. The impact was strong enough to send Driver 1 to the hospital for stitches. As a result, Driver 1 also missed 3 days of work.
A fair settlement was quickly reached between Driver 1 and Driver 2’s insurance adjuster. Driver 2 was determined to be 100% at fault due to consistent statements provided by 2 witnesses and the details of the police report. Driver 1 filed a claim for compensation, along with documented proof of his costs, for the costs of his emergency room visit, repairs to his vehicle, and time missed at work. Driver 2’s insurance company agreed to reimburse Driver 1 for 100% of these costs and all was well.
What Constitutes a Fair Settlement When My Life will Never be the Same?
Often times, injury claims are not nearly as simple as the situation described between Drivers 1 and 2. When the injuries resulting from an accident are extensive, the costs can quickly add up. Determining whether a settlement figure is fair often evokes considerable scrutiny and controversy when a permanent injury is involved.
Insurance companies will state that coverage is designed to restore conditions to their prior, existing state. In other words, to make things as if the accident had never occurred – nothing less, and certainly nothing more. However, what about cases of permanent injury such as paralysis or severe brain damage? No amount of medical treatment, despite the price tag, is available to restore the pre-existing conditions. So how much money is permanent paralysis worth? Is $10,000,000 sufficient compensation to make up for a lifetime of personal struggles and medical complications? These types of case pose an impossible question, one with infinite answers based upon who you may ask.
Was Your Settlement Fair? 4 Items to Consider
Here are 4 tips to help consider the fairness of some of the more quantifiable aspects of a settlement: