As a Baltimore personal injury lawyer will tell you, in the past, insurance adjusters would simply add up the medical bills and, as long as they were not unreasonably high, multiply that figure by three. Then, the adjusters would add the lost wages. The resulting figure would become the settlement offer.
For instance, a plaintiff that suffered a soft-tissue injury which resulted in medical expenses of $2,200 plus $500 in lost wages would receive an offer of $7,100. The adjuster would multiply the first figure by three, resulting in a sub-total of $6,600. Next, the $500 in lost wages would be added, resulting in a total figure of $7,100. This was not the only way to arrive at a settlement figure but was used as a ‘rule of thumb’ measure.
Technology Has Changed Evaluation Methods
Computer programs have changed the way insurance companies evaluate their cases, says a Baltimore personal injury lawyer. Many insurance adjusters will tell you they do not use formulas, and they consider each case on an individual basis. However, they often do use a computer program to examine the medical expenses.
Instead of multiplying medical bills, the program is likely to reduce the bills. For instance, medical bills totaling $2,200 might be reduced to $1,450. The adjuster will accept the computer’s assessment of what the bill should be, rather than the reality of what the bill actually is.
An Overall Reduction in Settlement Offers
An injury that would have resulted in an offer of $7,100 in the past, would now produce an offer of $2,800. Such a low offer would force a Baltimore Personal Injury lawyer to try and negotiate with medical service providers and other lien holders. In most cases, this is not possible. In this scenario, there will be very little left for the plaintiff once the expenses of the case, including legal fees, have been paid. The effect of these changes has been a rise in cases that require litigation, which in the past, would not have gone to trial.
If you have been involved in a personal injury case and would like to speak with a lawyer, please call a Baltimore personal injury law firm. The Law Offices of James Lee Katz, P.A., may be reached at 443-394-0900 or 800-564-7808