I recently received a few phone calls from people trying to settle their own cases. They go to the doctor. They get their medical records. They send them to the insurance company. And then they get a response from the insurance company that is substantially lower than what they think the case is worth. And, they get upset.
Why? Yes, that is a real question. I don’t understand. Unless you have been in more than 5 or 6 accidents, and all of those accidents are similar, why do you think you know what your case is worth? Again, a real question.
Don’t get me wrong. The insurance company is going to make you a low offer. In most cases, they do not make a fair and reasonable offer as is required by the Fair Claims Practices Act. But, in some cases they do make a fair and reasonable offer. How, as a lay person, do you know the difference?
When someone asks me why I think a case is worth a certain amount, I have a reason. That reason is based on experience (settling thousands upon thousands of claims) and the facts of each case. But, as a lay person, you don’t have that experience. Therefore, when you tell the adjuster that your number is right and their number is wrong, they have no reason to agree with that.
As I have said before, there is no magic formula. If there was, the insurance companies would fire all of their adjusters and hire people at $8 an hour for data entry only. There would be no personal injury attorneys and no more lawsuits. So, consult with an attorney. Even if you do not hire you, you should at least talk to someone.
Oh, and if you can tell me why you know what your case is worth, I would love to hear it. I will give a prize to the first person who can rationally explain to me why they know exactly what their case is worth without talking to an attorney.