Insurance companies use various methods when calculating compensation in personal injury claims. Before advising you to accept a settlement, our attorneys will use our own methods of calculation to confirm the appropriate compensation in your case.
Insurance companies calculate economic damages by adding up all of the compensable financial losses a victim has incurred because of an accident. These losses generally include medical expenses and lost wages. If non-economic damages are available in your case, an insurance company will use either the per diem method or the multiplier method to calculate your compensation for pain and suffering. Victims should not trust that an insurance company’s calculations are correct. If, after reviewing a settlement offer and negotiating with your insurance company, our attorneys believe you have a greater chance of recovery at trial, we may advise you to take your case to court in New York.
To have the Westchester personal injury lawyers at The Martello Law Firm assess your case for free, call us today at (914) 685-6950.
How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Economic Damages in Personal Injury Claims in New York?
After you have been injured in an accident, the next step is to file a claim with the proper insurance company. Whether your claim is filed with your personal injury protection insurance or a negligent property owner’s homeowner’s insurance, the carrier will follow certain guidelines when calculating your economic damages.
In calculating economic damages for a personal injury claim, insurance companies will examine evidence of your financial losses. Because of this, our Yonkers, NY personal injury lawyers urge victims to keep detailed records of their economic damages as they incur them. This includes any medical bills, invoices, or records of your lost wages. Our attorneys can help you gather and provide these records to the insurance company. If you have additional out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries, keep records of those as well.
Regarding your medical treatment, you might require care past when your insurance claim is settled. Because such damages fall under economic damages, our attorneys will aim to show an insurance company that you will continue to incur economic damages past the point of settlement, increasing your overall compensation.
That said, insurance policies have limits. If your economic damages exceed the limits of an insurance policy, and the insurance company refuses to compensate you for your damages adequately, you may proceed with a lawsuit.
How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Claims in New York?
Recovering compensation for non-economic damages in an insurance claim is much more difficult and not always possible. Depending on the case and the adjuster assigned to your claim, you may have to fight for such compensation.
Personal injury protection insurance does not provide compensation for pain and suffering in New York. This means that if you are hurt in an auto accident and have not sustained a serious injury, recovering compensation for your emotional losses may not be possible. That said, many injuries meet the serious injury threshold, such as those that profoundly impact a victim’s life for at least 90 out of the first 180 days following an injury, meaning victims might be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering in a lawsuit.
When non-economic damages are available, insurance companies will likely use one of two methods to calculate them. The per diem method involves assigning a dollar value to each day a victim cannot work because of their injuries. The multiplier method involves choosing a multiplier between one and five, depending on the severity of a victim’s injuries. This multiplier is then applied to the victim’s economic damages to calculate their non-economic damages.
Insurance companies rarely offer an appropriate settlement that includes compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering on top of their financial losses in New York.
How to Assess an Insurance Company’s Calculation of Your Personal Injury Claim in New York
It is important for victims to understand that accepting the first settlement offer from an insurance company out of the expectation that it has properly calculated their losses is not wise. Initial settlements rarely accurately reflect a victim’s losses in their entirety.
After you receive a settlement offer for a personal injury claim from an insurance company, our attorneys will thoroughly evaluate it. We will review our own calculations of your damages to confirm whether or not the settlement is appropriate. If it is not, we might negotiate with the insurance company to increase the offer, presenting further evidence of your damages.
What if an Insurance Company’s Calculation of Your New York Personal Injury Claim is Wrong?
Unfortunately, insurance companies are infamous for attempting to lower a victim’s damages in an injury claim so that they do not have to pay more in compensation. When insurance companies refuse to properly compensate victims for their losses, victims can proceed with litigation.
Even after you file a lawsuit, an insurance company may want to negotiate a settlement. This settlement offer might be higher than what was initially presented to you, but that does not mean it is the best possible outcome for your case.
Taking your case to trial, especially if there is ample evidence of negligence and your damages, can allow you to claim greater damages awarded by a judge or jury. Going to court can increase the chances that you recover non-economic damages for the pain and suffering you have experienced. And, depending on the cause of your injuries, you might be able to recover punitive damages as well.
New York does not impose any limits on compensatory damages for victims who file personal injury lawsuits. Remember, if your injuries were due to a car accident, you will have to establish that they meet New York’s serious injury threshold in order to file a lawsuit.
Call Our New York Lawyers to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case Today
Call The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950 to schedule a free case review from our White Plains, NY personal injury lawyers.