Did you know that it was not only possible but common practice to put a dollar value on life and limb? Obviously, there are many and complex factors that go into calculating a claim’s worth. This responsibility comes under the job description of an insurance actuary. Actuaries calculate the dollar value of personal injury claims based on factors that help or hurt a case. What legal and practical issues can increase or decrease a settlement in the eyes of an insurance company?
Multipliers that could increase the value of a claim are:
- Injury took place while working
- Accident was caught on video or there were witnesses
- The injury was severe and there were large medical expenses
- Long-term therapy, rehabilitation or medication was needed for recovery
- Injury resulted in a permanent disability
- A significant interruption to “normal” life was experienced
The common characteristics of the increasing multipliers are documentability, severity and permanence of an injury.
Multipliers that could decrease the value of a claim are:
- Sharing fault for the accident taking place
- Majority of medical expense was around diagnosing rather than treating the injury
- Shortness of medical treatment and lack of prescribed medication
- Short recovery period and lack of physical therapy
- Little to no long-term effects or permanent injury sustained
The common characteristics of the decreasing multipliers are lack of severity and permanence of an injury.
Unfortunately, with some personal injuries, it is impossible to be “made whole.” This is where compensation comes in. Being informed about factors that can increase or decrease compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is a vital step in protecting legal rights.