Car Accident Injury Settlement
The car accident injury settlement process begins almost immediately following the incident. Statistics indicate that about 95 percent of the injury cases are settled before going to court. This is in large part because insurance companies want to settle as quickly as possible because in all probability out-of-court settlements are lower than jury awards. Insurance companies are for profit organizations. So, it can be argued that they are looking after their own bottom line. Regardless of claims of benevolence, healthy profits and assets are the insurance company's main concern. Therefore, the best interest of the victim is secondary. With that said, a car accident victim may be wise to consult an attorney before having any discussions with an insurance claim adjuster. Settlements are only offered when a person has been injured in a vehicle accident. Insurance claim adjusters may attempt to contact a victim soon after the accident. A person may still be confused and upset about the recent traumatic events and an offer by the insurance company may sound more than reasonable. But, in reality the offer may be far less than what the victim is entitled to receive. Accident claims can be complicated. If the case was to go to court, a jury would consider several factors before determining damage awards. Don't be rushed into a settlement.
According to some legal websites that specialize in car accident injury settlement cases, a victim may be asked to sign off his or her medical claims as part of the insurance agreement. Attorneys caution against doing this before having the case reviewed by a legal expert. Once the victim signs the medical claims waiver, he or she will never be able to pursue that claim again. So, even if an injury doesn't seem serious at first, don't sign a claims waiver. The severity of some injuries may not be known until sometime later. All car accident injury settlement cases will have a statute of limitations. These will vary from state to state and maybe even from legal jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Claims adjusters are savvy and know the law. If a quick and satisfactory settlement can't be reached, and a victim doesn't know their legal rights, the insurance company can possibly drag the case out until the statute of limitations expires. And, a legal case must be filed before the statute of limitations is up.
An online search turned up plenty of useful information about the car accident injury settlement process. Perhaps the most important piece of information that can be learned is that injury victims should not attempt to deal with insurance companies and the legal system alone. Unfortunately, the legal system can be intimidating, but so can insurance claim adjusters. Also, keep in mind, car accident injury settlement cases are about money. Some Christians may look upon this as greed. However, that is not always the case. Injury victims may have endured great pain and suffering. Debt may have accrued. An injury victim may have lost wages or even lost the capability of ever earning wages again. If that is the case, then the victim's family and dependents may be suffering as well. Basically, the only way to compensate for the loss is with money. But, Christians must keep the proper perspective and attitude. Physical healing of the body may take weeks, months, or years. In some cases, a person may never completely heal from their physical injuries.
Very often the victim in a car accident injury settlement case will be emotionally hurt as well. As a result, he or she may want to lash out at the cause of their pain and suffering. Obviously, monetary compensation will help pay medical and therapy expenses. But, true healing will come only through God and finding peace in Christ. "But now ye must put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth...And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him." (Colossians 3: 8, 15-17)
Collect all medical evidence and document the case thoroughly. Beware of requests to approve medical record access. According to several online legal sites, insurance companies are only entitled to files specific to the injury. A person who approves a medical record access request may be unwittingly allowing access to their complete medical record. Victims, who are unsure, confused, or feel rushed into a settlement should stop talking to the claims adjuster immediately and seek legal advice. Insurance companies are more likely to respond to a demand letter for settlement written by an attorney. Several factors can determine the amount of a car accident injury settlement. The first consideration is the cost to treat and heal the victim, which can be affected by the amount of time it takes to heal completely. The second consideration is past and future pain and suffering. This includes mental anguish as well. Any physical impairment, disability, or disfigurement is also taken into consideration. Also, damaged property may be compensated for as part of the agreement. Each case will be different. Don't consider any detail to be petty or insignificant. For example, one legal website warns victims that cashing a check written for medical bills could ultimately affect the outcome of the car accident injury settlement. Apparently, cashing an insurance check may signify acceptance of terms the victim is unaware of. It's best to consult an attorney.
Car Accident SettlementsCar accident settlements are best handled by attorneys who have experience especially where a medical claim is made because of personal injury. Most attorneys will take cases that have to do with automobile accidents without legal fees being paid upfront and some will not ask for money for legal fees unless the case is won. Many lawyers who advertise services for car accident settlements online provide some testimonials of clients they have helped in handling claims. Cases that are complex, involve extensive medical injuries, and even death should be handled by an attorney since there are usually long-term complications involved. Insurance companies often draw out claims hoping that clients will get frustrated and settle with them before a case actually goes to court. Legal advice in a situation like this is important because if the case is solid, with witnesses and evidence, a person has a good chance of getting a larger settlement when the case is heard by a judge and jury. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17).
Insurance settlements often depend upon the extent of damage to the vehicle, the hospital bills for medical care, and what kind of coverage the faulted driver had. Pain and suffering are considerations with car accident settlements and are taken into account when the case goes to court. Every person's case is different and the extent of the pain and suffering is unique. Trying to get an insurance company to settle on pain and suffering may prove to be difficult; this is why most attorneys give the advice to their clients not to settle out of court unless the settlement is considerate of pain and suffering.
When a person is injured in an automobile accident the extent of the injury will need to be a major consideration on making a settlement. Back injuries may require extensive chiropractic adjustments and could even involve major back surgery. Car accident settlements that include surgery and extensive recuperation could mean very high dollar medical bills. Sometimes the injuries are so extensive that they can affect the person's livelihood for the rest of his or her life. These types of cases should be handled by an attorney who has had experience with similar cases. Oftentimes the outcome of complex cases will need to be determined by a jury. This will make the attorney's job a little more complex because he or she will have to convince a number of people instead of just a judge when stating the client's case in court.
Complex cases will usually involve extensive work by attorneys. Legal research can help the client to win their case in court. Attorneys will work hard on these types of problems because it will usually mean larger winnings for them as they often charge a percentage of the winnings for handling the legalities. Car accident settlements should be handled swiftly. Settlements are usually much easier to attain when there are pictures of the accident, a police accident report finding fault, and eyewitnesses. A lawyer will probably consider having expert testimony by medical professionals when injuries are involved.
Being hit by an underinsured or uninsured driver usually means that the coverage of the other driver must cover the cost of the claim. Then it is up to the insurance company to go after the uninsured driver. If an uninsured driver is injured most of the time he or she is not entitled to medical care but any passengers are. Some states allow damage and medical bills to be taken care of in these types of cases and some states do not. Car accident settlements often become more complicated in cases of underinsured or uninsured drivers. An uninsured motorist's will usually get ticketed for not having insurance when involved in an accident or in situations where the driver is pulled over for a traffic violation.
Lost wages are another consideration with car accident settlements. If a person sustains injuries then oftentimes he or she will have to miss work and lose wages during recovery. When this happens a lawyer can request that lost wages be considered as part of the compensation. In most situations the party requesting the lost wages will need to show that he or she was not at work on those days and times to get reimbursed or compensated. If a person misses a great deal of work then it might affect other benefits so these will need to be considered in the reimbursement as well. Most of the time the family medical leave act will allow a person to retain their job but each situation is different and unique so other things may need to be considered when settlement is made.
Knowing ahead of time exactly how much money will be considered in a settlement is not something that an attorney can quote since every case is different. An experienced lawyer who has been involved with car accident settlements can tell the client that having the case go to court usually means a higher settlement amount. An attorney normally tries to get compensation for their client on fair compensation and helps to restore losses that have been suffered or will be suffered long-term. Trying to negotiate without legal counsel will probably result in less compensation. Attorney's know the current laws and know how to argue a person's case in accordance with these laws so the outcome is usually always better for the client.