An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who is assigned to your case to gather evidence, calculate the value of your claim, and negotiate a settlement with you. It’s important to understand how insurance adjusters work so you know what to expect, especially when it comes to the valuation of your claim. Here’s how an insurance adjuster calculates the value of your personal injury claim:
Calculates the Total Medical Expenses
First, the insurance adjuster will add up the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries. However, during this calculation, the insurance adjuster may decide that some medical expenses should not be included. These are known as “soft” medical expenses, and they can include bills from chiropractors, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers that are not physicians.
Factor in Pain and Suffering
The next step is to factor in the pain and suffering that you have experienced since sustaining your injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes your injuries are minor, he will multiply your total medical expenses by 1.5 or 2. When the injuries are more severe, the insurance adjuster typically goes up to 5, however he can go as high as 10. This number will then be added to the total medical expenses.
Then, the insurance adjuster will need to review the evidence you have submitted that shows the amount of income you have lost due to your injuries. The insurance adjuster will arrive at an amount after reviewing your evidence, and then add this figure to the previous total.
Comparative Negligence Deductions
Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can still recover compensation even if you are partly at fault for the accident. How does it work? The insurance adjuster will carefully review the case to determine the role that both parties played in the accident. If the insurance adjuster believes you are 25% at fault and the other party was 75% at fault, he will reduce the value of your claim by 25%.
The number that the insurance adjuster arrives at after following these steps may be the first offer that he extends to you during negotiations. But, the insurance adjuster often underestimates the value of your claim in an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
If you have been injured, never accept an offer from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney first. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will help you calculate the actual value of your claim so you don’t make the mistake of accepting an offer that is lower than what you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.