Understanding How Insurance Companies Calculate Proposed Settlement Amounts In Georgia


May 21, 2012

The calculation of the value of an auto accident victim's claim can be one of the most difficult aspects of the successful resolution of a Georgia personal injury claim.  As you read this article, keep in mind that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you.  At Montlick & Associates we fight hard to protect the rights of injured people, and to make sure they get the compensation they deserve.

The value of a Georgia personal injury claim will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your Georgia car accident. The types of damages that are actually awarded to most victims are similar, but the amount of the damages may vary substantially.

Types of Damages

The insurance company that represents the person who is liable for causing an accident can be responsible for paying a wide range of damages to an injured person, including:

  • Medical care expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Damages for permanent disfigurement or permanent disability
  • Damages for loss of social and life experiences
  • Emotional damages
  • Damaged property
  • In some situations they may also be liable for punitive damages

Some damages, like lost wages and property damages, are just a matter of calculating numbers.

An insurance adjuster will calculate the total amount of an auto accident victim’s medical expenses. Medical expenses will include medical bills, tests, doctor's visits, hospitalization charges and any travel expenses.

The amount of lost income will be added on to these amounts. Loss of income is when a person has to miss work or is unable to return to work due to their injuries. This can also include the time missed from work attending medical appointments. If the person is permanently disabled or their career is impaired, the amount of lost future income will also be included. When this number is calculated, it is added to the other damages calculations referenced above. This becomes the starting point of negotiations with the insurance company.

Payment for property damages, such as damage to a vehicle, are included in an auto insurance claim. If your car needs to be repaired, then the insurance company will cover the cost of the repair bill and a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. If the car has been devalued in the accident, then you may be entitled to the difference in the value of your car as well. If the car is totaled, the insurance company will replace the car up to its value. However, you may need an attorney to obtain replacement value or compensation for the diminished value of your car.

The damages that are more difficult to put a value on are the pain and suffering and missed life experiences that a person suffers.  Insurance companies typically use various types of formulas to arrive at a settlement offer for these type of damages, which many times do not reflect the fair value of the claim, especially in cases involving severe or castraphic injuries.

At Montlick & Associates, we only represent injured people and their families, never insurance companies, and we will put your interests first.  In contrast, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and he or she gets paid to protect the interests of the insurance company which makes more money when they pay you less or nothing at all.  There are a lot more factors that go into evaluating the value of a claim that are considered and used to your advantage whenever possible when you are represented by an experienced Georgia accident lawyer.  These factors may include, by way of example and depending on the particular case, the testimony of witnesses to the accident, expert witnesses and their reports as to future damages, calculation of future lost wages, expert witness testimony and reports that help establish how the accident occured or causation, the value of simliar cases in the particular jurisdiction as established by jury verdicts and known settlements, the credibility of the various parties and witnesses, the nature of the injuries, and the culpability of the defendant who caused the action, and any unique circumstances such as driving under the influence, grossly excessive speed, the nature of the violation of traffic and other safety laws, driving on a suspended license, etc.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death throughout Georgia for over 30 years. If you or your loved one has been injured or killed, Montlick and Associates will work quickly to prevent the destruction or altering of key evidence. Our experiencedGeorgia personal injury attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our lawyers are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.