How Do Insurance Policy Limits Affect Your Personal Injury Settlement?
Your lawyer will tell you that your final settlement amount will largely depend on the insurance policy (if any) of the defendant. Rest assured that you can reach a reasonable settlement with the defense even if you decide not to sue the defendant in court.
That said, your personal injury lawyer in Porterville will inform you that two main factors influence the outcome of a pre-suit personal injury claim. They are:
● The severity and type of injuries that you sustained
● The amount of insurance that the defendant carries
Your personal injury lawyer will remind you that the defendant’s insurance company is only obligated to compensate you up to the limits of its client’s (the defendant’s) policy. Therefore, you may be out of luck if your bills and expenses from the injuries are high and the defendant’s policy limits are low!
The significance of your damages
Your personal injury lawyer will remind you constantly that you are the claimant. Your damages will generally consist of lost wages/income, medical bills and related expenses, and pain and suffering. As a general rule, your settlement amount will be much higher if you suffered from severe injuries and a great deal of pain and suffering. This usually means that you will be out of work for a while. You’ll likely suffer from lost income/wages.
Always ask the adjuster to justify an extremely low offer
Never react to a ridiculously low offer from the adjuster. Instead, ask him or her to justify the offer. Be sure to document these justifications. Then send him or her a counter letter explaining each of the justifications to her from your standpoint. You can generally get the adjuster to budge to your settlement demands by using this negotiation tactic. Additionally, your lawyer can help you in this and negotiate on your behalf to help you get a better deal.
How much insurance coverage does the defendant have?
Your settlement will largely depend on the policy limits of the person who caused your personal injury. Even though you may have suffered greatly because of your personal injury and may have medical bills and other expenses in excess of a million dollars, you will only receive a maximum settlement value of $500,000 if the defendant’s insurance policy limits are at $500,000.
You have hope in the form of other options that your personal injury lawyer will point out to you if your damages and expenses are much greater than your settlement amount. This is one of the many reasons why you should hire a personal injury lawyer even if you are settling out of court!