How Insurers Value Auto Accident Claims
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that car accident victims must go through their insurers before seeking compensation elsewhere. While no two accident claims are the same, there are certain factors that insurers take into account when determining what a car accident claim is worth. These numbers can then be used as a jumping off point for negotiations and could even influence whether a person decides to take a case to court. For these reasons, having a thorough understanding of how insurers value auto accident claims is extremely important, so if you were injured in a car crash and have submitted your claim to an insurer, it is critical to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney who can walk you through the valuation process.
Severity of the Injuries
There are a number of factors that insurers consider when determining the worth of a car accident claim, including who was primarily responsible for causing the crash, whether or not the at-fault party was insured, and the severity of the injuries resulting from the accident. The latter is especially important to an injured party’s claims and requires a review of the injured party’s medical records and records related to any preexisting medical conditions. Invoices, billing information, and receipts will also play an important role in dictating how a claimant is compensated for his or her injuries.
Adjusters also assess any records or documents that can prove how much time a person was required to take off because of his or her injuries, as well as how much that person suffered in wage loss. Generally, the more time that a person was forced to take off, the higher he or she can expect the settlement offer to be.
Police Report and Citations
Establishing who was at fault for an accident will also dictate the worth of a person’s claim. In determining this, insurers and courts will look to the police report drafted after the accident. These reports include specific details about the accident, including statements made by both parties, eyewitness accounts, and a description of the scene of the accident. Insurers may also contact the witnesses themselves and seek clarification from the responding officers. Insurance adjusters will also take any citations that were issued to the parties at the scene of the accident into account when determining fault. Common citations include driving under the influence, running a red light, or failing to yield. Finally, adjusters will assess any photographs or video recordings from the scene of the accident, either of which can make or break a case.
Ultimately, being found at least partially at fault for an accident can negatively affect the value of the injured party’s case. Those who are found to be not at fault, on the other hand, can usually expect to receive a higher settlement offer.
Call Today for Legal Assistance
For help applying these factors to your own case and determining what you could expect to recover for your claim, please contact the dedicated Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 today.