Negotiating Personal Injury Claims
Personal Injury Lawyer DC
This article shares some great advice from Phoenix car accident attorney, Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane regarding negotiating a personal injury claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, determining the value of your claim is an important piece of the puzzle. It is important that you are sharp when it comes to negotiating with the insurance company so that you can get your much-deserved compensation. Did you know that most personal injury claims never make it to court for litigation? When talking to the insurance adjuster, there are a few fundamental things you need to keep in mind.
In each personal injury case, there are two types of damages that are considered for payment: economic and non-economic. You need to figure out how much of your economic damages are first. These damages will have a direct impact on your non-economic damages, or pain and suffering. Gather all the bills from your doctors, physical therapists, and mental health providers. Add to those bills any surgeries, property damages, or anything else that has cost you money since the incident.
When dealing with injuries, you need to see a medical doctor as soon as the incident happens. Have them give you a ballpark estimate of the medical expenses for the future. Talk to the doctor about your long-term consequences as a result of your injury. All of these factors will affect the value of the claim.
When the injuries prevent you from working, you need to consider the loss of income for the present and the future. You will need to get a doctor or an expert opinion to determine this number. They will evaluate your capacity to work and calculate the money you would have made, if you had not acquired these injuries.
Pain and suffering, as well as psychological distresses, are considered non-economic damages. They are harder to evaluate, as they are not objectively determinable. Other things that are considered are the public shame, embarrassment, and the disgrace of living with the injury. It is very hard to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering you experience. While it is no easy task, a number must be presented to the insurance company for compensation.
The Multiplier Calculation Method
One method that is used to calculate, what seems to be incalculable, is a multiplier. Using a specific technique, a factor from 1.5 to 5 is multiplied to find a figure for economic damages. There are some instances where this number can go even higher. To determine the multiplier, you must take into consideration the severity of your accident and the strife you deal with. It’s not an exact science, and some argue that it is a bit old-fashioned. That’s why having a medical or mental health’s expert opinion is helpful in determining the appropriate amount.
The Per Diem Method
If the multiplier system isn’t used, the other known technique utilized is called per diem. Per diem is a Latin word that means “per day.” This method assigns a monetary figure for your pain and suffering. The amount is multiplied by the number of days it will take you to recover. The number of days is estimated by a medical doctor based on their professional opinion. Using this complex equation, they figure the sum owed to you for your non-economic damages.
The Insurance Companies Methods
You should know that insurance companies don’t have to use these calculation methods, which is why you need to stay sharp when it comes to negotiations. Many companies feel that a computer program is more accurate, as it takes into account the medical treatment and the duration. When the insurance company uses one method and the plaintiff another; it can mean the same claim has two different valuations. For instance, if you choose to use a chiropractor over the care of a traditional doctor, the value of your claim may be impacted in the eyes of the insurance company.
Having Legal Representation
Throughout the entire process, it is important to collect evidence from relevant experts that can be used in negotiations. If your injuries have caused you depression, utilize the help of a mental health professional to prove your state of distress. It’s hard to value your claim if you don’t have hard evidence. It is always best to seek help from an attorney, as this is just the basic framework for the types of damages. An auto accident attorney can give you more in-depth information and represent you in a case. Contact Cantor Crane today at (602) 254-2701 for free initial consultation.
Special thanks to our friend Aaron Cantor, of Cantor Crane, Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, Cantor Law Group, for providing some insight into personal injury practice in Phoenix, Arizona.