Let’s say you were in a car accident and it left you with chronic injuries. If it was the result of someone else’s fault or negligence, it could be used as a base for filing a claim in court. The process can be complicated, but hopefully, after you read this page, you will have an idea of how to settle a personal injury claim.
The first thing you should do after the accident occurs is to file a report with the local police department and notify your insurance company. The police report will help determine who was at fault after examining vehicle and traffic laws. Get copies of any reports that were filed related to the accident.
Visit a doctor for examination no more than 24 hours after the crash occurred, regardless of the severity of your injuries. What may appear to be mild injuries now can quickly develop into something serious. Also, take photos of any visible wounds that were inflicted.
The more evidence you gather and record, the better the chances are that your claim will be successful. Record the time of day, the date, the location, any hazardous road conditions, names of eye-witnesses, injuries that resulted, damage done to both cars, medical bills and loss of income from missing work. You will have to release all your health information and include any prior records to make sure that you’re not being treated for an existing condition. Be aware that your treatment should be consistent and appropriate for the injury claimed.
When you make your injury claim to the insurance company, they will significantly low-ball you. And insurance claims adjusters will encourage you to settle before you know the full extent of your injuries. Don’t do it as the amount of the settlement will always be less before all medical and therapeutic procedures have been completed.
Using a lawyer will probably get you a larger settlement, but a lawyer will charge you 33% of whatever amount you get. So make an educated guess on what your settlement might see if getting a lawyer is worth it. There is no easy formula to calculate how much your settlement will be, but you can get an educated estimate from reading this page. Take into consideration the fact that, with an attorney, the insurance carrier is far more likely to take you seriously and will be willing to settle quickly. And the downside of dealing with the claim adjuster on your own is that he is a professional and you’re not. He knows the law better than you and will use his knowledge of it to his advantage.
The worth of a personal injury claim will depend on what the jury or judge considers “fair and reasonable” concerning the intensity of the injuries and their consequences on your daily activities. An attorney will help you to deal with the insurance company to get a larger settlement, but in the end, it will be the court who will decide what you get.