Insurance companies have formulas that they use to calculate the damages they are willing to pay for various injuries, including rotator cuff injuries. Although the companies do not make these formulas public, if you can generate a settlement offer that approximates the range of what they typically pay, the sooner you're likely to get a settlement. Your negotiating skills can play a role in getting a higher settlement.
Gather Your Medical Records
Include any insurance payments when you calculate your medical expenses. Since rotator cuff injuries in particular are often progressive in nature, you will need to consult with your doctor or other medical expert to estimate any future medical expenses. Although in court this amount would be determined by expert testimony, during settlement negotiations with an insurance company, a notarized statement from the medical expert in question might suffice. Add together present and estimated future medical expenses to arrive at a subtotal.
Calculate the Losses
Multiply the time you have lost off work by your average wages or earnings (even if you took sick leave). If your rotator cuff injury has not completely healed, remember to consult with your doctor concerning the degree and duration of any future disability, so that you can include future lost earnings in your calculation. Add this amount to the total of present and future medical expenses that you have already calculated in order to arrive at a new subtotal.
Add an Amount for Pain and Suffering
Rotator cuff injuries vary widely in their severity. If the injury is minor, the customary amount is roughly double your total medical expenses. Your claims should be based off your legitimate, actual medical records. If the injury is severe or chronic, you could claim five times your total medical expenses or even more. Add this amount to the subtotal you arrived at in Step 2.
Add Incidental Expenses
Add in an amount that represents any incidental expenses that you incurred as a result of your rotator cuff injury. You might want to try adding in legal or investigative expenses, although these are far more likely to be awarded in the UK than in the United States.
Add 10 to 30 Percent
Add an extra amount of 10 to 30 percent to the previous subtotal to give you some room to bargain with the insurance company.
Subtract a Percentage
This will represent a reasonable estimate of your comparative fault in the accident that caused the injury, taking into account the contents of any accident report that has been prepared. If you do not believe that you were even partially at fault, then skip this step.
While lawyers have a reputation of being costly, if you are short on cash, remember that most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means your lawyer only earns a percentage of your settlement. You'll you pay no legal fees up front, and you'll pay nothing at all if you fail to win a settlement or judgment.
- If you are short on cash, find a personal injury attorney who will take your case in exchange for a percentage of the final settlement or judgment (typically 30 to 40 percent). This means that you pay no legal fees up front, and if you get no settlement or judgment, then you pay nothing.
- Insurance companies sometimes exploit their financial advantage over claimants by deliberately slowing down negotiations in the hope that you will lower your demands as your bills pile up. Expect negotiations to take a while.
David Carnes has been a full-time writer since 1998 and has published two full-length novels. He spends much of his time in various Asian countries and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law.