Understanding Insurance Settlements
The Insurance Information Institute notes there were 6.7 million car accidents in 2018 in the United States, totaling nearly 1.9 million injuries, 33,600 deaths, and resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damages. While these figures are troubling, most people believe that insurance will provide compensation for any injuries and losses in the event of an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Unfortunately, too often an insurance company will offer an insurance settlement far lower than what will pay for a victim’s medical bills, damages, lost work, and suffering. If you have been the victim of an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney of Tyroler Leonard Injury law at (651) 259-1113 to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Where it Starts: The Scene of an Accident
Every accident resulting from another person’s negligence will have a different set of facts and circumstances, however, the insurance process will start shortly after the accident occurs. Of course, the priority after an accident is to get to safety and make sure all parties involved are provided any and all medical attention they need, including calling 911 for police and emergency responders.
Car and Trucking Accidents
For car and trucking accidents, police reports will be filled out, witnesses may be interviewed by law enforcement, and insurance and contact information will be exchanged. Make sure the police accurately take your statement while the event is fresh in your mind. If possible, document the damage and road conditions by taking photographs. If there were witnesses, gather their names and contact information, as they could aid in the evidence supporting your claim in an insurance settlement. Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible, as your insurance policy usually will require you to do so.
Other Types of Personal Injury Accidents
For other types of personal injury accidents, you may still have the legal right to pursue compensation if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and losses. Make sure to always contact the police to have an official report, and seek medical evaluation and treatment after any accident or injury. Consider asking the following types of questions to help you determine if the accident was the result of another person’s negligence:
- Were OSHA regulations not being followed at a particular business?
- Was merchandise stacked in such a way to become a hazard to customers?
- Did a fellow coworker or employee behave in a reckless manner to cause an accident?
- Did a dog owner fail to leash their dog resulting in a dog bite or attack?
- Did a medical practitioner fail to follow medical standards of care resulting in injury or harm?
If your injuries were the result of another person or company’s negligence, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for all of your economic and non-economic losses.
When the Dust Settles: The Insurance Adjuster
After an accident due to someone else’s negligence, an insurance claims adjuster from the negligent party’s insurance company may contact you. The insurance adjusters are trained negotiators who will be friendly and act helpful, but they work for the insurance company and their job is to assess the liabilities of the person or persons involved in the accident and the damages involved. Make no mistake, their job is to minimize the expenses, including payouts to victims.
Make sure to consider the following if you do make the decision to visit with an insurance adjuster after your accident:
- Do not allow yourself to be recorded in any conversation which can be used at a later time to reduce your insurance settlement offer
- Do not accept any blame or responsibility for the accident
- Do not engage in any small talk that could be used against you
- Do not consent to have your entire medical history submitted to the insurance company
Even in this early contact with an insurance adjuster, it is often wise to consider having a personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf in order to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of during this process. Without proper negotiations, you could only be offered a fraction of the compensation you deserve under the law. It is important to understand that if you do discuss your case with an insurance adjuster, they may attempt to dissuade you from contacting a lawyer. Consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you get the full and fair insurance settlement you deserve.
What They Offer: The Insurance Settlement Check
After an investigation into who is at fault, to what degree, and what the losses are, the insurance company will offer an insurance settlement. Oftentimes, this first offer is far less than what your economic and non-economic losses actually total. While every accident case is different, you may have the legal right to pursue the following:
- Damages to property
- Medical costs including ambulance and Emergency Room care, prescribed drugs, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, and the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments
- Future medical costs for long term effects
- Loss of wages due to missed work
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages
Consider visiting with an experienced attorney at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law to help you understand your legal rights and help you with your next steps.
Who is on Your Side: Tyroler Leonard Injury Law
With the insurance companies working so hard to pay as little as possible to victims in the insurance settlement process, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf can ensure that you receive the compensation for your injuries and losses you deserve. Additionally, Tyroler Leonard Injury Law takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that victims pay nothing unless our attorneys are able to recover money for you. If you are feeling overwhelmed dealing with your insurance company and feel that you may not receive a full and fair settlement offer, consider visiting with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 today for a free consultation.