An insurance adjuster has offered me a settlement. How do I know if it’s fair?
An insurance company may offer you a settlement after a serious injury. They might even discourage you from consulting with a lawyer. While in most cases the deal may seem attractive and you might want to immediately take it, it is important to do some research before accepting the deal.
If you are not careful, hastily accepting the settlement offer could even create more financial problems for you instead of solving them. It is important to note that the value of your claim is not only based on numbers, you must weigh other factors such as your chances of winning in case of a trial, if your injuries will worsen over time or will there be any future care expense? Once you sign a release of liability, the insurance company is taken off the hook for any further injuries that may occur. Thus, rushing into a settlement can be a bad idea.
How Do Insurance Company’s Value Claims
Before coming to you with the settlement offer, the insurance company investigates and considers several things. These include; the value of the damages that occurred, the chances of winning the claim if it goes to court, the costs of defending the claim and if there is any weakness in your claim. Therefore, you should also take time to consider if the settlement is right for you.
Thus, finding out what your claim is worth is a crucial step. To figure out the worth of your claim you must consider your economic damages that include; medical care, income lost during the time that the injured person was in the hospital, permanent physical disability, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, funeral, and burial expenses. It is also vital to consider that sometimes your economic losses may extend to the future. You also must consider the non-economic losses these include; pain and suffering, your inability to participate in your hobbies, and emotional distress.
It is also important to consider the strengths and the weaknesses of your claim. When coming up with the settlement amount companies do not only consider the damages, they also must consider if they can win the case should it go to trial. This means that you will also have to consider if there are any problems with your claim for example perhaps if your actions contributed to the injury.
The process of trying to assess the value of an insurance claim can be strenuous and without legal advice, you might end up rushing into a decision. Hiring a lawyer or seeking legal advice from a lawyer can go a long way in helping you to decide if the settlement offer is right for you.
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