Fair. It’s a word that can be very subjective, especially when it comes to a personal injury claim. It’s always important to keep in mind that the insurance company that you pay premiums to each month is a profitable business. As much as you would like to think that your best interest is being considered by them, in all honesty, their first responsibility is to shareholders and their own financial bottom line.
On the other had, it’s good to know that insurance companies are under a legal obligation to have sufficient reserves set up in order to ensure they have the money to pay claims. Every insurance company in Canada has a legal obligation to investigate every claim filed including the circumstances surrounding the accident. This includes all injuries and impairments. They use different formulas to determine how much money would be adequate in reserve to pay that claim. Be aware that it is not their duty to disclose this to you as a policyholder or claimant. The insurance company’s desire is to pay out less than the reserve. Thus, any offer they make will be considerably conservative in nature so as to keep as much of the fund amount as profit to the company.
Many things will enter into the insurance company’s determination of reserve. They will want to know the day, time and weather conditions, the speed the at-fault driver was going, if there was any alcohol or drugs involved or other distractions such as handheld devices. They will want to know what injuries were experienced and treated immediately at the scene and what determinations were made by paramedics, doctors or other hospital personnel. Was the victim partly to blame? Wearing a seatbelt? If the victim died at the scene, more things are taken into consideration, All these variables are weighed when determining a reserve and this will all be reported to the insurance company via their adjuster.
As a victim, your needs are not tied to a reserve fund. When you have hired a personal injury lawyer, it is the job of that lawyer to establish exactly what your needs are, irregardless of what the insurance company wishes to pay out. A good personal injury lawyer should investigate and make a detailed evaluation of the circumstances of the accident immediately. It is the intent of the lawyer to get as adequate a reserve fund as possible for your particular incident. A personal injury lawyer that knows insurance criteria can be your most valuable advocate at times like these.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you owe it to yourself to get the most qualified advice available. The lawyers at B & P Injury Law Office have years of experience with insurance claims in Collingwood, North Bay, Sarnia and surrounding areas. We are the ones to have on your team when you have suffered an injury. Call us today for a free consultation.