Personal Injury Insurance Settlement
A personal injury insurance settlement is available for those who have been injured by another's negligence. In most cases, individuals need home owners and auto insurance to cover liability issues that will arise at some point in all our lives. Businesses have large liability policies to cover most anticipated personal injury occurrences. In the case that an attorney advises just seeking a settlement and not pursuing a lawsuit, a personal injury insurance settlement is the most likely path to follow. There are important things to know about such a settlement.
In most cases, personal injury insurance settlement claims are paid for car accident victims. With as many as five million accidents occurring on the nation's highways each year and two million people injured, there are plenty of personal injury claims filed through the many indemnity companies in the United States. The personal injury insurance settlement may include such things as medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering. But whether it is an auto accident or other type of mishap, getting a settlement from an insurance company begins with sending a letter to the person or the company in the form of a formal demand for payment. The letter is sent after the claimant has done some investigation into the circumstances of the accident and gathering as much evidence as possible. The letter must be well written and should include such things as the injuries incurred, why the other person is responsible, what the medical treatment was and the cost, and the demand for a lump sum payment to cover all these expenses. The demand letter should include the fact that there are police reports, eyewitness accounts and perhaps building code violations that are a part of the case.
Some experts suggest that one begins with a demand for settlement at twice what the actual amount one expects to receive. After all, the indemnity company is going to start whittling down the demand amount to one it can live with, and maybe even smaller than that. Attach copies of all documents and records that were mentioned in the formal demand letter. And be realistic about your ability to write well. This letter is extremely important and one written poorly with misspellings, grammar mistakes and unintelligible words or phrases can quickly show the indemnity company it is dealing with someone who may be able to be easily convinced to settle for less money. Get someone to help with writing a powerful formal demand letter in order to get one's personal injury insurance settlement case off to a good start. "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God...trust in him at all times: ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us." (Psalm 62:7-8)
So a person is injured and gets a fair personal injury insurance settlement from the indemnity company. But soon, a letter arrives from one's own health care provider. The company has learned that you have received this settlement and is demanding that it be paid from the personal injury settlement received from the other insurance company. For a while, one may have believed that this settlement would be money you could keep, but a legal term called subrogation could burst that bubble real quickly. Subrogation, a legal term, means that a person should not be paid twice for the same injury. In other words, getting money for medical expenses in that insurance agreement should mean the money is used to pay back your health insurance company for its coverage. Like it's always been said, "there ain't no free lunches."
So there is another river that one may have to cross when getting a personal injury insurance settlement for injuries incurred in an accident of some sort. When money is received for property damage and medical bills, there may be a question about whether or not that money is taxable and that can be quickly dispelled with a resounding no. Oftentimes, there is additional money included for what is called pain and suffering. This is money that is paid to help a victim get back to a full life again and is also not taxable. But there are other damages that may be covered in a personal injury insurance settlement that are taxable and include what are called psychological injuries. Additionally, punitive damages, which are meant to punish monetarily a defendant and interest earned while money sits in an account and are also taxable. If there are any questions regarding this part of the insurance claim agreement, a tax expert should be sought out for counsel.
Chances are good that someone contacting an insurance company through the use of a formal demand letter will be contacted by a hardnosed negotiator or claims adjuster representing the indemnity company. This person's sole purpose will be to get the injured party to settle for as little as possible. If a person is not steely-eyed enough or doesn't have the skin of a rhinoceros, it might be advantageous to have an attorney or some other skilled negotiator step in to help. Knowing the language of insurance companies and the many legal terms that might be thrown around should be within the experience of the negotiator, so choosing your bully Uncle Mutt may not be the best choice. When all negotiations break down, it will be time to actually call in the help of an attorney to speed the process along.
Personal Injury SettlementReaching a personal injury settlement in a civil law suit means that both the defendant and the plaintiff have come to an agreement as to an appropriate monetary award that will be given to the injured party. When agreements are reached in this manner, the case is considered to have been settled out of court without the time and expense of going to trail. Injuries that are the result of some kind of fault or negligence on the part of the defendant are what generally sparks these types of lawsuits. These injuries could be the result of an automobile accident or some kind of injury in a public place or on another person's property. In the case of an automobile accident, the faulted individual will generally be held liable for the costs that are associated with the injured party's recuperation. The price tag that is attached to lengthy hospital stays and rehabilitation is usually quite steep. When an innocent person sustains serious harm as a result of the negligence or poor driving of another citizen, it is only natural that this injured individual will seek financial help in covering the expense of getting well again. The cost of the wages that were lost when the victim was recuperating, in addition to any future wages that will be lost are also among the damages that may be awarded to the harmed party. The medical prognosis of the victim along with any future health issues that are anticipated will also be factored into the personal injury settlement.
Qualified legal representation is needed when trying to reach a personal injury settlement. There are a number of factors that will determine the size of any monetary awards. These factors could include the nature of the injury, the size of the financial loss that the plaintiff can expect, the amount of time that the victim will spend in recuperation, psychological distress, and general pain and suffering. In automobile accidents, damage to the innocent party's car will usually be covered in any settlements. Insurance policies will frequently be used to cover the cost of damages, but the dollar amount of the final agreement may exceed any coverage that the defendant has. When this is the case, the faulted person will need to pay restitution from their own personal funds. If the faulted person has no insurance at all and also has limited financial resources, it may be difficult for the injured party to recover much in the way of losses. In some cases, businesses and organizations are named in these types of lawsuits. The victim and their legal representation must be able to prove that the business or organization is somehow at fault and therefore responsible for the harm that has befallen the plaintiff. If the litigant can provide such proof, a personal injury settlement will be often be agreed to.
The method of payment that is used for the services of legal representation when obtaining a personal injury settlement can vary from case to case. Many lawyers will set up a plan of payment that hinges on whether or not the client actually receives a monetary award. If a settlement is agreed upon, the litigant's council will generally receive an agreed upon percentage of the total award. This percentage can, in some cases, be quite high, up to forty percent or more of the award. If the two parties can not come to an agreement, or if the case goes to trial and fails, the council will often not receive any reimbursement for their efforts at all. A client may be able to negotiate an agreement that dictates that the lawyer will only receive a cut of the award after the plaintiff's medical bills have been paid. While these fees can seem a little steep, the legal expertise that these professionals bring to the table will generally result in a much higher personal injury settlement than the client could have achieved on their own. If a child was the injured party in the case, parents can arrange for legal representation and take the faulted party to court on behalf of the child. However, any funds awarded must be set aside for the benefit of the child and cannot be spent by the child's parents for their own personal needs.
Falls and accident can be another cause of lawsuits that result in a personal injury settlement. When an individual falls on another person's property, the property owner may be held liable. This is particularly true if the fall was the result of an unsafe situation or an act of negligence on the part of the property owner. Damages for medical expenses or pain and suffering may be called for. In the Bible, believers are admonished to have compassion on their fellow man. "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." (1 Peter 3:8)
Any client who hopes to collect a personal injury settlement will want to seek legal council that is knowledgeable about this area of the law. Experience in working with insurance companies and fellow legal professionals is a must. Of course, negotiation abilities are not the only skills that a lawyer in these cases will need to possess. The ability to gather evidence and to establish the total amount of award that is reasonable in a specific case is also very important. A client who has been seriously injured may have a lot of difficult issues to deal with. The assistance of skilled council can be an invaluable source of both help and comfort.