Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

What’s Your Case Worth to an Insurance Company

A common question we get from current and potential clients is, “What’s my case worth?”

I’ve written before about how we, as personal injury lawyers, evaluate cases. I thought, in this blog, I would write about how an insurance company evaluates a case. It is typically an insurance company who pays a settlement or judgment.

Oddly enough, how a personal injury lawyer evaluates a case is typically not the same as how an insurance company values a case.

Here are a few differences:

1. An insurance company doesn’t give value to human losses.

Generally speaking, an insurance company doesn't give much, if any, value to the human losses in a personal injury case.

Car crashes, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and other personal injury incidents sometimes cause profound changes in peoples’ lives. For example, an injury may cause someone to lose their dream job. The loss of purpose and dreams does not factor into an insurance company’s evaluation of that damage. Instead, they focus only on the economic loss and rarely take into account the non-economic, pain and suffering damages.

2. Insurance companies don’t consider risk of future injuries and costs.

Another thing an insurance company will probably not take into account when evaluating your personal injury claim is the risk of future injuries and medical costs. Typically, an insurance company will only offer money for injuries and medical treatment already incurred. This is even true despite proof that you will have problems in the future because of your injuries from a personal injury incident.

3. An insurance company will put the fault on you.

Another difference in evaluation is that an insurance company will put far greater emphasis on comparative fault, even without any evidence of it. Comparative fault is when you are partially at fault for a personal injury incident, like a car crash or a slip or trip and fall. It reduces your compensation by however much fault you get.

So, if you are assessed at 50% fault and your damages are $100,000.00, you get $50,000.00. Any time there’s a hint of comparative fault – and even when it's not accurate – an insurance company will claim you are at least 50% at fault and reduce their offer by that much.

Personal injury lawyers do not put as much value on comparative fault because we can usually show convincingly that there is none.

These are just a few of the different ways an insurance company evaluates your case. If you’re getting a seemingly unfair offer for your case from an insurance company, please give us a call. We can tell you if we think you are getting a fair deal.