A critical aspect of any personal injury claim is figuring out how much your accident injuries are worth. It is the part of a claim that is most difficult to determine because the amount varies depending on your very particular circumstances. Check out this overview of how insurance companies determine the value of a claim.
Types of Damages
To determine what your claim is worth, you must first know the types of damages for which you may be compensated. Usually, a person who is liable for an accident must pay an injured person for:
- medical care and related expenses
- income lost because of the accident, because of time spent unable to work or undergoing treatment for injuries
- permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- loss of family, social, and educational experiences, including missed school or training, vacation or recreation, or a special event
- emotional damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression, or strains on family relationships — for example, the inability to take care of children, anxiety over the effects of an accident on an unborn child, or interference with sexual relations, and
- damaged property.
At the beginning of claim negotiations, an insurance adjuster adds up the total medical expenses related to the injury. These expenses are referred to as “medical special damages” or simply “specials.” That’s the base figure the adjuster uses to figure out how much to pay the injured person for pain, suffering, and other non-monetary losses, which are called “general” damages.