How Does an Insurance Company Value a Personal Injury and Accident Claim?

September 25, 2012

Auto Accidents, Dog Bites

how an insurance company values a personal injury claimWhether you were rear-ended in an automobile accident, or bitten by a neighbor’s dog, you will likely have to deal with an insurance company.  Determining how much compensation you’re entitled to after you’ve suffered a personal injury is an essential part of your personal injury claim.

So how do insurance companies determine the value of your injury?

The first step to answering this question is to understand what you can be compensated for.  An “at-fault” party, or a party that caused the accident, can be liable for the following damages:

Special Damages (medical specials) – financial losses you have suffered: 

Damaged property; Past, present and future medical bills, lost wages, etc.

General Damages – non economic losses:

Emotional and physical pain and suffering; permanent disfigurement or handicap; loss of educational, family or social experiences (missed vacation, school time, etc).

Obviously, it is easy to put a figure on Special Damages.  You have a stack of medical bills, a way to calculate your wages at work and a value for your car (for more info on valuing your vehicle, see the blog article: “Valuing Your Car”).  The difficulty arises when computing the “General Damages” part of your claim, because there is no “bright-line” way to measure something like a permanent scar from a dog bite or emotional stress caused from a car accident.

There are a few schools of thought as to how an insurance company values General Damages.  In the past, adjusters might have simply taken the total amount of Medical Specials and multiplied them by a number based on the severity of an injury.  Ex:  multiply by 2 or 2.5 for a soft tissue injury, 5 or 6 for something more serious.  More recently, adjusters might attempt to reduce your Special Damages, and add $ 500.00 – $ 600.00 to cover General Damages.  This all depends on the severity of your injury, and the insurance company you are dealing with.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, or suffered a dog bite anywhere in Ohio, contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free case evaluation and a free consultation from attorneys experienced with Ohio automobile accidents and dog bites.  Learn what actions you can take to recover compensation for a car accident, dog bite, personal injuries and damages.  Call 1-800-297-9191 or contact us through our website: or

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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