When an injured party seeks compensation for their damages, there’s a high chance they will have to deal with an insurance company. For instance, in car accident cases, the at-fault driver’s insurer handles the settlement. If a doctor is sued for malpractice, their insurer handles the case. Because most victims must deal with insurance companies, it’s important for them to know how adjusters operate.
The Adjuster’s Motivation
An insurance adjuster’s job is to determine the case’s value and to investigate its facts. The adjuster works for the insurer, not the victim or the insured, and their motivation is to keep the payout low in order to increase the company’s profits. While the adjuster wants to keep the payout as low as possible, they also want to avoid litigation. If the case does not settle out of court, the injured victim can file a civil suit, where a jury or judge will make a final determination. Litigation is risky for insurers, as damages can be high in cases where the judge or jury is sympathetic to the victim’s plight.
How Adjusters Arrive at Offers
In a personal injury case, the adjuster typically considers the same factors a jury would use in determining appropriate damages. The adjuster usually looks at:
• The client’s actual damages, both current and future
• Losses stemming from lost wages
• Losses due to emotional distress or pain and suffering
Some costs are easy to calculate but others are more subjective. An insurance claim attorney in Port Orchard can protect the client’s rights while fighting for a fair settlement.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Because of the complex nature of pain and suffering damages, an insurance adjuster typically refers to a formula during calculations. Two examples of these formulas include:
• The per diem formula, where a victim receives a predetermined amount for every day they’ve suffered.
• A multiplier where the actual damages are multiplied by a set amount. The number ranges from 1.5 to 5, but every company uses a slightly different method.
Consider Hiring Legal Counsel
When they schedule an appointment with a lawyer, the victim lets the insurer know that they value their rights and will sue if they don’t get a fair settlement offer. An insurance claim attorney in Port Orchard can determine a fair amount and they can use their negotiation skills to achieve a desirable outcome.