We have found that our personal injury clients simply want to be treated fairly by insurance companies. Deciding what is fair treatment can be a difficult proposition. The definition of a fair settlement changes depending upon the facts surrounding the accident. Lastly, because each case is unique, hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you can make all the difference. While settling your claim without a personal injury lawyer is possible, we have found clients receive better settlements with the help of an attorney.
How Is My Settlement Calculated?
A NC personal injury calculator can be quite misleading. Most personal injury settlements are based upon a combination of compensation for Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Pain and Suffering, and Special Damages. Because the facts surrounding each accident are different, these calculations may be adjusted in numerous ways. For instance, the same injuries sustained in a rear-end collision may receive a higher settlement than those sustained in a slip and fall accident. The reason for this is the insurance company defending the case may believe you contributed to the slip and fall injury, and will discount the settlement accordingly. This is the concept of Contributory Negligence, and it can result in no recovery at all.
Will I Receive A Breakdown Of My Settlement Calculations?
Generally, no. Your personal injury lawyer will submit a detailed demand package which sets out a theory of liability, medical treatment, and damages. That demand package will include specific amounts for medical bills, lost wages, and any additional damages. However, the insurance company’s offer of settlement will typically be a lump sum amount. To help you understand the settlement offer, we will show you how your personal injury settlement proceeds will be applied to your case, and show you a final amount which you will receive.
While some clients desire to know specifically how much the insurance company is allotting for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, the easiest way to think about your settlement is in terms of how much you will receive after payments to all parties have been made. You should know this amount prior to accepting your personal injury settlement. This is generally presented to you by your personal injury lawyer in the form of a Settlement Statement.
Is There An Online NC Personal Injury Calculator?
If you find an online personal injury calculator, you should be weary of it. The value of your settlement will depend upon so many very specific factors, and a calculator simply can’t account for all of them. If each claim was exactly alike, the need for representation by a NC personal injury lawyer would not be as important. Because each claim is unique, the expertise your personal injury lawyer has will increase the value of your claim as the lawyer argues the value of your claim with the insurance adjuster.
What Factors Will My Attorney Argue About With The Adjuster?
First, your attorney must put forth a theory of liability to establish the other party was at fault. If you were rear-ended, this is admittedly easier in North Carolina. In a multiple vehicle “pile up”, this task becomes much more difficult. The same is true of a slip and fall in a grocery store or retail store. The insurance adjuster will argue, for instance, that you contributed to the vehicle accident, or that you contributed to the slip and fall in some manner. They will use this theory to de-value your claim, no matter what the injuries were.
Successful arguments related to the following items can make all the difference:
- Lost Wages – Your attorney will establish you actually lost wages due to the accident. We negotiate lost wages where adjusters believe the injured party should have returned to work more quickly.
- Medical Bills—Quite often the insurance adjuster will argue the injured party received ‘excessive treatment’ and will not want to pay for all of it. Your personal injury lawyer will examine the treatment notes and defend the treatment you received as necessary and ordinary for the injuries.
- Pain and Suffering—Your personal injury attorney will tell the story surrounding your injury. This humanizes you in the eyes of the insurance adjuster and when done convincingly, increases the value of your claim.
- Special Damages—If the injury you sustained led to missing out on important life events (A wedding, or a graduation, for example), the attorney will put the adjuster on notice of those Special Damages and argue for compensation related to them.
- Threat of Lawsuit—Perhaps one of the strongest reasons for employing a personal injury lawyer is that the insurance company sees the case differently when negotiating with a lawyer. They know if a resolution can’t be reached, they face having to defend a lawsuit which could cost them considerably.
What Are My Next Steps
If you’ve been injured in an accident of any type, you should speak with a NC personal injury lawyer. Our firm—and most firms—offer free consultations by phone or in person. There is no commitment to hire us, and the goal is to help you understand your options. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a phone call. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.