How do Insurers Value a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois?
May 14, 2020 Published in Personal Injury
If you sustained an injury that was caused by another person’s negligent actions, you will likely need to file a claim with their insurance carrier to secure compensation for your losses. Depending on the situation, this could involve car insurance carriers, homeowners’ insurance, or a business insurance company. Regardless of what type of claim, you need to understand how an insurance carrier will value a personal injury claim in Illinois.
What factors go into valuing a personal injury claim?
It is important to point out that insurance carriers want to pay the lowest potential settlement for any claim made against the policy. They will do what they can to limit their liability, and this often means that they will use tactics that may not seem fair to an injury victim. This can include making low settlement offers that they know will not cover all the expenses or even trying to say that the victim was partially responsible for their own injuries.
When working to assess the value of a personal injury claim in Illinois, insurers will look at the following:
- Liability. First, the insurance carrier will thoroughly examine who is liable for the incident. If you have made a claim against an at-fault party’s insurance carrier, then the carrier will closely examine how clear liability is. When their policyholder is clearly at-fault for the incident, then the value of a claim increases. When determining a settlement amount, the insurance company will be well aware of how a jury will view the situation if the case goes to trial.
- Damages. When liability is determined, the insurance carrier will look at the total damages that the plaintiff (the injury victim) has sustained. This can include damages that are easily quantifiable, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. This can also include various unquantifiable factors, such as the plaintiff’s pain and suffering and mental anguish.
- Degree of plaintiff’s fault. Illinois uses a modified comparative fault law, which means that the insurance carrier will look at the degree that the plaintiff was at fault. While a plaintiff can still collect damages even if they are partially at fault, the total amount they will be awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the incident. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $10,000 in damages, but was found to be 20% at fault, then they would only be owed $8,000 in total damages. Due to comparative fault laws, insurance carriers will often try to place some or all of the blame for an incident on the injury victim to reduce their overall liability.
Will you need an attorney to help?
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the negligence of another person, and you are working to secure compensation through a personal injury claim, you should speak to an attorney. These cases can become incredibly complex, particularly when working to value claims. You cannot count on insurance carriers to look out for your best interests. Let the personal injury team at Kanoski Bresney help you get through every aspect of your case, including standing up to the insurance carrier to obtain maximum compensation. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 866-438-2419.