Personal injury compensation is an area
of much debate. How much personal injury compensation do you deserve?
The answer to how much personal injury compensation is appropriate
will depend upon whether you're the injured party or the one responsible
for the injury.
If you're the injured party, then you'll
need to answer the compensation question in relation to an attorney
versed in this field.
If the responsible party's insurance company is involved, most
likely they'll try to minimize damages for pain and suffering.
The insurance companies are in business to make money and keep
as much as possible for themselves and their shareholders so it
is their job to give everyone as little compensation as possible.
Remember, to you it is personal, but to them it is business.
Before the insurance company offers its low-ball first offer,
it has to base its personal injury compensation offerings on something.
You'll need to know the basis for this offer so that you'll be
in a better negotiating position later. Usually, the smaller the
injury and costs for the injury, the better compensation offer
you'll receive since the claims adjuster won't want to waste time
and company resources in negotiating the claims.
For more severe and costly injuries, the insurance company will
take into account the following information:
- Present medical needs
- Future medical needs
- Permanent disability benefits
- Physical impairment
- Facial disfigurement
- Lost income
- Loss of family, social or educational experiences
- Pain and suffering including:
o Post-traumatic stress disorder
o Loss of marital relations
- Property damage
In order to figure out how much compensation for a personal
injury claim is worth in the insurance company's eyes, the
claims adjuster will add up several items that are part of the
formula. Included in this formula are all of the medical expenses
related to the injury, then multiplying this by a number between
1.5 and 5 and finally adding the lost income due to the injury.
If the injury is less severe the adjust will use a number near
1.5 and for more severe cases a number near 5 is chosen. Knowing
this information will help when negotiating your case, especially
in terms of picking a multiplier that is in your best interest.
One other fact that may determine the ultimate amount of your
personal injury compensation is what part of the country you're
in. If you're living in a low cost-of-living area, then expenses
and wages will typically be lower than a high cost area so compensation
will also be lower. For those living outside of the United States,
beware of the U. S.'s large corporations operating abroad.
On December 3, 1984, Union Carbide's Bhopal, India pesticide
factory leaked over 40 tons of lethal gasses, killing 16,000 and
injuring 5 million more. The average compensation amounted to
approximately $550 per victim. So, what is your personal injury
worth? Talk to a personal injury lawyer
and don't let it be worth only $550 if you know its worth more.