How Are Insurance Settlements Calculated?
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should ensure that you are aware of how much compensation you are entitled to.
According to recent statistics, about 264 million vehicles hit the road annually in the US. Moreover, there are more than 210 million registered drivers, making the country’s roads some of the busiest. Despite introducing new and advanced safety features in cars, about six million car accidents take place on American roads each year.
Most of the victims file personal injury claims, and insurance carriers pay out billions of dollars annually. If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may want to know how much compensation you can get from your insurance firm.
Although there’s no specific amount payable after a car accident, understanding how insurance firms calculate settlements can help you estimate how much money you’re entitled to. Some companies use software for calculations. See more information about factors that could affect your settlement to make sure you are well-prepared before diving into a personal injury claim.
The Type of Insurance Policy
An insurance provider will determine the settlement based on the specific type of policy each driver holds, and their maximum limits. For example, in some jurisdictions, drivers must have minimum coverage that includes $5,000 for damages to other vehicles, and $15,000 for injuries or death of a person during an accident.
In some areas, you can choose between full tort and limited tort. On one hand, the latter offers policyholders the possibility to file claims for economic and non-economic damages, irrespective of the severity of the injuries. On the other hand, for limited tort, drivers can save money on their premiums.
Nevertheless, drivers must waive their rights to claim damages such as pain and suffering, unless their injuries are considered serious. The injured parties can still file claims against the other drivers, or they can file third-party claims against their insurance firm for monetary damages. There are limitations on non-economic damages as well, including whether the driver who caused the accident was impaired.
Your Current and Future Medical Expenses
If it’s clear that if liability is on the other driver’s part, their auto insurance firm is likely to offer a quick but small settlement before evaluating the full extent of the injuries you have incurred. Why should you be concerned about that? Well, no policyholder can tell how damaging the injuries will be or how much money they will spend on future treatment in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
In some cases, other medical complications could develop from current injuries. Ideally, an insurance company should rely on experts who understand the injuries in order to determine the costs of any future treatments. For example, the settlement may include expenses such as medications and ambulance health care services.
Reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
The recovery process includes a lot of expenses. Your settlement may include costs such as hiring a car while yours is being repaired, transportation costs to and from medical facilities, and hiring someone to perform household chores you may not be able to perform because of your injuries. In order to get compensation, you must keep copies of all the bills and explain why they’re important.
The Impact of the Accident on Your Life
The settlement may include non-economic damages if the victims have full tort coverage and/or limited tort coverage in some cases. This refers to compensation for damages that affect your well-being and ability to engage in various activities you used to participate in before the occurrence of the accident. It’s difficult to determine the fair value for such damages.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering. Generally, an insurer is likely to ask you to prove that your pain and suffering are up to the degree that you claim. Unlike medical bills, proving pain and suffering may require more than just receipts. For example, you will need to have official statements from medical professionals showing the costs of the ongoing treatment and an estimated recovery period.