What are some of the most important factors to consider when determining the value of your personal injury case in New Bedford?
Several factors will affect the value of your case but the two most important ones are the type and extent of the injuries you sustained in the car crash.
The amount of money you’ve had to spend while getting your injuries attended to by a medical professional and duration of recovery will also indicate the extent of your injuries.
And if you decide to settle, these factors are what your New Bedford car crash lawyer and insurance adjusters will use during settlement negotiations.
Determining the Value of Your Personal Injury
The most difficult part about a personal injury claim is putting a dollar value on pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is not something you can eyeball and guestimate the cost.
So how do insurance adjusters determine the value of your claim? They use what is known as the damages formula, where they associate the extent of your injuries with the level of your pain and suffering. So if your injuries are severe, your level of pain and suffering is high.
Read about your personal injury protection benefits.
Of course, this isn’t a scientific method you can rely on to put a value on a claim and most of the time it’s usually inaccurate. For instance, a sprained ankle can be just as painful and persistent as a broken one but since a sprained ankle isn’t perceived to be as serious as a broken ankle, the value of your claim significantly reduces.
The good news is that you can work with your New Bedford car crash lawyer to show that your injury is causing you significant pain and suffering even if it’s typecast as one of the less serious injuries.
There are two main categories of injuries:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries can be assessed depending on the description of the level of your discomfort. Soft tissue injuries involve the muscles and other connective tissues and they include a strained back or a twisted ankle.
Insurance companies don’t consider soft tissue injuries as serious injuries and usually assign to them a damages formula multiplier of only one and a half to three times specials. Specials here simply means the amount of money you’ve spent getting your injuries treated.
Insurance adjusters believe that soft tissue injuries are not permanent or damaging regardless of the amount of pain they are causing you. They also know that if you decide to take your case to trial, it would be difficult for you to prove what your soft tissue injuries are.
Hard injuries are typically awarded four or five times specials and sometimes even higher. If your medical records show anything that indicates you are suffering from more than a sprained ankle or a pinched nerve then the value of your damages will go up.
Your doctor can pull up X-rays or any other tests conducted to show that your injuries are serious. If your injuries required stitches, resetting a bone or any other intrusive examination by a doctor, then the value of your personal injury claim will increase.
Categories of Hard Injuries
Spinal cord injury:
A strained neck or back sounds less serious than a broken spine or a displacement of the spinal disk. Insurance company adjusters and even the jury wants to hear you describe your injuries using specific medical terms in order to award you a higher compensation. Simply stating you have a pinched nerve just won’t cut it but using a medical term to describe your pinched nerve might do the trick.
Your doctor will take an X-ray of your back around the area where you feel the most pain. The X-ray might reveal some abnormality, which they can be able to describe using proper medical terms. Any mention of your abnormality in your medical records can tip the scale in your favor during negotiation with your insurance adjuster.
By the way, learning the role of an insurance adjuster is important because it will help you understand how insurance companies work and why you need a personal injury lawyer to help you.
If you sustained deep wounds or had a nasty tear on any part of your body following your accident that should slightly increase the value of your claim.
Cartilage or Ligament tears, Dislocations and Separations
Whenever a doctor describes your injuries as a ligament tear as opposed to a strain or a stretch, they sound more serious. Even though a torn ligament is considered more serious than a sprain, recovery time is the same and the type of treatment received may not be all that different.
This is why it is always important to seek medical attention after a car crash so that a doctor can document your injuries in applicable medical terms. Moreover, it increases the credibility of your claim and shows that your injuries were severe enough to warrant medical attention.
The after effects of a head injury usually last much longer than is obvious. Sometimes complications arise even after you’ve made a full recovery. Head injuries normally increase the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
In fact, most insurance adjusters prefer to speed up the negotiation process and settle the case as fast as possible before medical bills or any other bills related to the injury pile up.
Check your medical records to find out if you suffered a head injury and if you did, which type of head injury was it? Make sure you specifically mention it in your claim even if it was a mild traumatic brain injury and your other injuries seem more severe.
If you are still suffering from the effects of your injuries even after treatment such as dizziness or headaches, make sure to include this information in your claim.
A broken bone, even if it’s just a chip, will automatically increase the value of your claim.
A New Bedford Car Crash Lawyer Can Help Value Your Claim
Personal injury cases are usually complicated and insurance adjusters know this. They take advantage of naïve claimants and offer them unfair compensation.
Our New Bedford car crash lawyers can help put a dollar value on your claim and consequently get you the justice you deserve.
You can visit any one of our offices at New Bedford today or call us at 508-999-0800 to schedule your free initial consultation.