Q: Is there a standard formula that insurance companies use to determine settlement offers?
No. Unfortunately, there is not an easy, standard formula for how an insurance company determines the settlement offer in your case. The insurance company will look at the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine how much they will offer. Factors they take into account include:
- Personal injury: This is an injury documented by a doctor, not just an injury you claim to have received. It's important that you have a doctor's assessment to prove that your injury exists and that it was caused by the accident.
- Medical treatment: This is your actual medical bill. The insurance company will want to see receipts for medical treatment and may lower your settlement if they believe you did not take the steps to properly treat your injury.
- Pre-existing medical condition: The insurance company may reduce your settlement if they believe you have a pre-existing medical condition that contributed to the injury.
- Property damage: The more damage that is done to your vehicle, the higher your settlement offer will be.
- Driver negligence: The insurance company is more likely to offer a high settlement if the other driver acted recklessly instead of making an innocent mistake.
- Pain and suffering: Although subjective, the insurance company may offer more money if they believe you have suffered emotional pain from the trauma of a Maryland auto accident.
If you are unsatisfied with the settlement you are being offered, you may want to speak to an experienced Frederick accident lawyer who can help you make the case for a bigger settlement.