Bodily Injury Claims in Auto Insurance

The yardstick to measure human injuries. Every day of our lives we see that humans differ greatly in their opinions of value of all kinds of property. The same or greater difference exists in respect to such an intangible thing as the value of bodily injury.

Bodily injuries are worth in dollars and cents only what they can be settled for—or the amount which a jury will award. There is no such thing as reducing personal injuries in automobile cases to a mere matter of arithmetic. Mathematical formulae are used in workmen’s compensation courts but not in common law automobile courts.

Why is it then that you can’t fix the value of your own injury as well as some insurance adjuster? The answer is that you can.

Need for disinterested appraisal. If you use good common sense you can determine the value of your claim for bodily injury it just as well as an insurance adjuster. The only trouble is that is hard sometimes for us, as the poet, Robert Burns, said, “To see ourselves as others see us.”
Emotion and sentiment often cloud our thinking. Most of u frail humans lack sufficient objectivity to appraise our claims. They say that a doctor should never try to treat himself; also that a man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

What would a jury say? If you had a lawsuit for personal injury, you would undoubtedly hear the judge say to the jury that they should bring in a verdict which “would adequately and fairly compensate” you for your injuries.

What wide discretion is given a jury! The jury may take into consideration a host of factors in a personal injury case. The jury might be told that in arriving at the amount of its verdict, it could take into consideration compensation for: your pain and suffering; your loss of time; your medical, hospital and nursing expenses; such permanent injury and disability as you will sustain in the future.

The chances are more than one thousand to one that you will never “go to a jury” asking for damages for your personal injuries. Nonetheless, the same factors which a jury would consider are those you should consider.

Special damages. Out-of-pocket expenses and loss of earnings are often referred to by claims adjusters and attorneys as “specials” or “special damages.” When you begin to evaluate your claim you should know the amount of these damages. They would include bills for:
Diathermy and physiotherapy
Household help
Loss of earnings
Transportation to and from doctor
(and for other out-of-pocket expenses)

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