When you’re hurt in a car accident, there’s a good chance that you’re going to look to an insurance policy for payment. Most car accident cases resolve with an insurance settlement. It’s important to get a fair amount for your car accident case. In order to determine whether your car accident payment is fair, you need to know how insurance companies determine settlement amounts. Our personal injury attorney team at the Law Offices of Gregg Durlofsky explains insurance company settlements.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Settlement Amounts?
Insurance companies determine settlement amounts by looking at three factors: liability, damages and the terms of the insurance policy. In order for an insurance company to offer a settlement, liability must be clear. If the insured party has liability for the claim, the next step is determining what the victim’s losses are. Finally, the insurance company reviews the insurance policy in question in order to determine coverage for the types of losses and policy limits. Insurance companies consider all of these factors when they determine settlement amounts.
Fault in a car accident
The first thing that the insurance company looks at to determine a settlement amount is legal fault. In other words, the insurance company is only going to pay if the insured person or their insurance company is legally responsible to pay for the accident. Whether a person is legally responsible for the accident depends on state laws and the specific facts of the case.
Remember that the State of Pennsylvania uses a complex, hybrid system for car accident settlements, and legal fault may not always be immediately clear. In many cases, under no-fault laws, an insurance company must pay the insured driver directly. If the driver is legally liable, the insurance company proceeds to process the claim. If there is a reasonable dispute about liability, the insurance company may offer a reduced settlement.
Amount of damages in a car accident
Once legal liability is established, the insurance company looks at damages in order to determine the settlement amount. Damages include financial losses like medical bills and damage to the car. Pain and suffering can also be included depending on the exact facts present in the case. Many individuals trying to handle their case on their own miss important categories of damages that can greatly increase the amount of the insurance settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can make sure that you submit a complete claim to the insurance company.
Car insurance coverage
Car insurance coverage is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to determining a car accident settlement amount. The insurance company pays up to the policy limits. They also reduce the settlement by the amount of any applicable deductible. Car insurance coverage can limit the amount of a settlement even if the damages are greater than the policy limits.
Call our Bethlehem personal injury law firm
Do you have questions about your insurance company settlement amount? The Law Offices of Gregg Durlofsky personal injury law firm can help. We’re aggressive, experienced personal injury attorneys. Let us examine your case to make sure that you get the best possible insurance settlement amount. Call today!