An insurance company could be ready to write a check to the claimant. Yet the insurer would determine the size of that check. As a result, that same transaction would not represent a fair settlement.
A fair settlement should reflect the value of the claimant’s case.
That value depends to a large extent on the nature and severity of the claimant’s injury. A catastrophic injury would force a victim to deal with a great deal of pain and suffering. Yet there is no way to put a monetary value on pain and suffering.
As a result, adjusters have chosen to use what is known as a multiplier method. The multiplier is usually some number between 1.5 and 5. Victims with a minor injury should expect an adjuster to use 1.5 as the multiplier. Those with an especially serious injury should expect that same figure to be a 5, or even a larger number.
The chosen multiplier is one factor in a multiplication operation. The other factor is the sum of the claimant’s medical expenses. The product of that operation yields an estimated value for the claimant’s pain and suffering.
Other actions that should be taken by a claimant that hopes to win a fair settlement
Have proof of wages. This usually comes from an employee’s boss. Someone that was self-employed might offer the copy of a tax statement from the previous year, or copies of the relevant pages in an accountant’s book.
Claimants that have failed to see a doctor soon after the accident have reduced their chances for winning a fair settlement. The insurance company would have the right to allege that the claimant had failed to mitigate the effects of the injury. Armed with that allegation, the defense team could seek a reduction of any compensation or any court-ordered award.
The insurance company might decide to request an IME, before asking for a reduction of the court-ordered award. During that independent medical exam, the physician is supposed to concentrate on the body region that had been affected by the accident-related injury.
If a claimant had failed to cooperate with a request for an IME, then that action would have reduced the same claimant’s chances for winning a fair settlement. Evidence of cooperation would become especially important, if the examining physician were to provide the insurance company with a ridiculous prognosis.
Claimants’ lawyers have the right to contest a report that has such a ridiculous prognosis. Still, any such objection holds more weight, if the same objection has come from the Personal Injury Lawyer in Bedford for a cooperative victim/claimant. The victim’s level of cooperation would have cast doubt on any claim that the same victim had chosen to fake an injury’s existence.