Skip to Main Content

How Do I Know If the Insurance Company is Undervaluing My Personal Injury Claim?

Were you hurt in an accident in Stockton? You need a settlement from the insurance company that properly values your damages. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get the full and fair compensation that they deserve from insurers. Indeed, insurance companies fight hard to resolve claims for as little as possible. This raises an important question: How do I know if the insurance company is undervaluing my claim? The short answer is that your case should be reviewed by a lawyer. Within this article, our Stockton personal injury attorney provides a guide to help you determine if the insurance company is undervaluing your claim in California. 

Liability Comes First: Be Prepared to Prove Fault

In California, personal injury liability is based on fault. To hold any other party legally responsible for your accident, you must be able to prove that they bear fault. While a few types of claims are strictly liability cases—such as defective products—most personal injury claims in California are based on negligence. As explained within the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI No. 400), proving liability requires: 

  • Establishing the defendant’s negligence; 
  • Establishing that you suffered harm; and
  • Proving that their negligence caused your harm. 

In any given personal injury claim, an insurance company will start by assessing who is at fault for the accident. Notably, California’s comparative fault rules could have a big impact on your case. Your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. Collecting evidence such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, and photos from the accident scene plays a crucial role in establishing the other party’s liability. All accidents should be investigated by a lawyer. 

You Have the Right to Be Made “Whole” After an Accident in California

Once you are able to prove liability, your case will move to the issue of damages. The value of a personal injury claim in California is based, in large part, on the extent of the victim’s damage—both tangible and intangible. Indeed, injured victims in California have a general right to be made “whole” through a personal injury claim. Broadly defined, the right to be made whole is a legal principle that stipulates that the compensation offered by the defendant or insurance should cover the full value of the victim’s damages, including non-economic losses. Damages may include: 

  • Property loss; 
  • Emergency room care; 
  • Hospital bills; 
  • Other medical expenses; 
  • Loss of wages; 
  • Loss of earning power; 
  • Pain and suffering; 
  • Mental distress; 
  • Disability; 
  • Disfigurement; 
  • Loss of quality of life; and
  • Wrongful death. 

To know whether or not the insurance company is offering a legitimate settlement, you need to know the full and fair value of your case. Indeed, it is impossible to assess the validity of an insurer’s settlement offer unless you actually understand the extent of your damages. For this reason, you should not typically settle a personal injury claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). A Stockton personal injury lawyer can help you figure out how much your legal claim is actually reasonably worth. 

Your Damages Should Be Well-Documented

Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible to injured victims. Indeed, they have a strong financial incentive to settle claims for less. Insurance adjusters will take advantage of any opportunity to pay out less—especially if the victim’s damages are not properly documented. Getting a full and fair personal injury settlement requires proving your damages, including: 

  • Economic Damages: Economic damages are quantifiable costs resulting from your injury. They include medical expenses, future medical treatments, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses. To accurately claim these damages, compile all relevant receipts, bills, and documentation that reflect the economic impact of your injury.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages cover the more subjective and non-quantifiable aspects of your harm, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. These are inherently more challenging to quantify and require a comprehensive portrayal of how the injuries have altered your life. 

A Lawyer Can Value Your Case and Help you Negotiate

You do not have to take on the personal injury claims process alone. The reality is that insurance companies are looking out for their own bottom line—not your best interests. Having the right attorney on your side can make all of the difference. A top-tier Stockton, CA personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your case, prove liability, establish the value of your damage, and navigate settlement negotiations. Indeed, your Stockton, CA personal injury lawyer can handle all of the negotiations—with a focus on helping you secure every dollar of compensation you deserve. 

We Help Injured Victims Fight for the Maximum Financial Compensation

Personal injury claims are challenging. Although most cases are eventually resolved with a settlement instead of a trial verdict, it can be very difficult to get an insurance company to offer full and fair value. Indeed, insurers will frequently try to pay out less when settling legal claims. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we know how important it is for injured victims to get every dollar of financial support due to them under the law. With a proven record of case results, our Stockton personal injury lawyers are ready to review your case, determine the true value of your claim, and help you negotiate for the absolute maximum potential settlement from the insurance company. 

Contact Our Stockton, CA Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Review of Your Case

At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton personal injury lawyers are proud to put the rights and interests of victims and families first. If you believe that the insurance company is unfairly undervaluing your claim, we are ready to help. Get in touch with us by phone or contact us online for a free, completely confidential initial appointment. From our Stockton office, we fight for the rights of injured victims throughout the San Joaquin Valley and all of Central California.