Personal Injury Process
Being in a car accident can be very traumatic and can have life changing consequences. Depending on the stress and the extent of your injuries, it may be hard to think clearly or even at all. If possible there are several DOs and DON’Ts to try to abide by:
- DO seek medical attention if necessary
- DO summon the police if appropriate and ask for a report
- DO get the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved
- DO exchange your information and insurance and be polite
- DO get personal information of all witnesses
- DO take photographs of property damages and personal injuries (use cellphone’s video & camera)
- DO contact your attorney
- DON’T move your vehicle unless necessary for safety or required by law
- DON’T stand in harm’s way on the road, stand somewhere safe
- DON’T discuss fault with anyone and DON’T apologize for anything (this may be used against you)
- DON’T agree to any settlement terms without contacting your attorney
This may seem like a lot of things to remember and coupled with stress and injuries may make it hard to do. Is sum, try to get as much information as you can and do not make any statements of guilt or apologize for anything.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have been taken immediately to the hospital or realized at a later time you needed medical help and went on your own. You may have suffered various injuries and some that may be permanent or require lengthy treatment. On top of all this, you may be incurring medical bills that will eventually need to be paid. Your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of affection may be recoverable depending on your case. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your damages and compensation. Do not agree to any settlement offers until you have spoken with your attorney, your damages may be much higher than you thought or require ongoing treatment that an early settlement may not account for.
As soon as possible, one should seek the advice of an attorney regarding their injuries and property damages. An experienced attorney has dealt with numerous cases and insurance representatives and can help you evaluate your claim and treatment. Let your attorney handle the claim representative and evaluate your damages. Your attorney is best suited to deal with an insurance claim representative whose goal is to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible, and in most cases, not in your best interest.
It is best to keep track of all your medical treatment to further aid your attorney in assessing your damages. Doctors, physical therapist, chiropractors or other medical specialist should be accounted for. Also, keep track of any lost wages or diminished employment opportunities. Keep in mind that some injuries may not produce symptoms at first or may need additional medical care down the road, so it is important for you to undergo a thorough medical examination.
After all of your treatment is completed and damages have been assessed, your attorney will prepare a demand letter that will be submitted to the insurance company. The demand will highlight and give details of your injuries, pain and suffering, and any lost wages so that the insurance claim adjuster can evaluate your damages sufficiently. Based on all of your damages, your attorney will demand an amount that should fully compensate you.
The claims adjuster may accept your demand, counter your demand, or may even reject it. This may go on for several rounds depending on the demand and the facts of the case. Our firm prides itself on making a demand that specifically highlights your injuries and damages in order for the claims adjuster to clearly assess your damages and respond in a timely manner. If the claim adjuster cannot clearly see your damages, then this may results in a lower counteroffer or more delay.
Typically going to trial is uncommon because the parties have adequate insurance and reach an adequate settlement. Sometimes there may be a dispute to the value of your damages and if the injured party is not satisfied with the amount, he or she may choose to go to trial to prove that the other party was negligent and that they suffered the claimed amount of damages. This of course will extend the time one might see any form of monetary relief or even result in a lower amount awarded.
Insurance Claims Adjuster
Insurance companies have claim adjusters who will be assigned to your case. They typically have a large work load and will try to settle as many cases as they can without spending too much time on only one case. Their goal is to settle cases and do it as cheaply as possible. This is why you need an attorney who can evaluate your case and demand an offer that properly covers your injuries. Our firm also knows how important it is to communicate with and present proof of your damages in a way that will help make the claims adjuster see your injuries and be able to properly address your case without any unnecessary delay.