Often, an injured accident victim that has chosen to consult with an Injury Lawyer in Hamilton will ask this question: What is my injury worth? The best answer incorporates information on the procedures used to determine an injury’s worth.
Basic questions that the procedures seek to answer
How much money was spent on obtaining the proper medical care?
How much money did the victim lose, while recovering from the injury?
The total for all the medical bills gives the amount of money spent on medical care.
The amount of money in the pool of unearned wages equals the amount of money lost during the recovery.
The simple answers do not take into account the extent of the victim’s pain and suffering.
Insurance companies calculate a fair compensation for pain and suffering by using a formula.
First, they get the total obtained by adding up all of a given claimant’s medical bills.
Next, they multiply that total by a figure between 1.5 and 5. The extent of the claimant’s pain and suffering determines the figure selected. If the claimant has complained about lots of pain, the total from the bills would be get multiplied by 4.5 or 5. If the claimant has suffered very severe injuries, a figure between 6 and 10 would replace the factor of 4.5 or 5.
In order to complete the formula, another number must be added to the product from the above multiplication. That number represents the loss of wages, due to the time that the victim spent recovering at home, or in the hospital.
Identification of the person at-fault could change the calculated worth of the claimant’s injury.
Was the plaintiff partly at fault? If so, what percent of the plaintiff’s actions contributed to creation of an accident-prone situation? That percent would indicate the percent of the previously calculated worth that must be subtracted from that formula-derived figure.
Subtraction of that calculated amount should provide a rough estimate for the worth of the claimant’s accident-caused injury. The insurance company refers to that final figure as the value for the medical special damages.
How do insurance companies use that final figure?
An adjuster uses that final figure as a starting point, when it comes time to negotiate with the claimant. Unless the adjuster plans to test the claimant, the adjuster’s initial offer copies or almost copies the figure obtained by using the accepted formula.
Some adjusters choose to ignore the result of the formula and, instead, quote a figure that qualifies as a “low ball” offer. In that way, an adjuster can learn whether or not the claimant has become familiar with the procedures that get used to determine a given injury’s worth.