When you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you are generally entitled to some sort of compensation from that person’s insurance company, if you filed a personal injury claim. However, arriving at a settlement with an insurance agency can be a long and complex process full of investigations and negotiations conducted by an insurance adjuster for the company. You should never accept a settlement without first talking to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Insurance agencies are businesses that are focused on their bottom line, and they pay little mind to the emotional side of your injury. Sadly, many insurance companies take advantage of vulnerable people by working hard to settle claims quickly out of court and for the lowest possible amount. You only have one opportunity to prove your injuries. Once you accept a settlement, that decision is final and you lose your rights to ever file another claim again – even if you discover your injuries are far worse than you originally thought and you notice problems down the road.
In this blog, we have outlined useful tips to help you ensure that you receive the best possible settlement offer from an insurance adjuster, so that you can collect maximum compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages as well as loss of future income.
1. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The most important thing you can do to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer from an insurance company is to immediately consult with an attorney that specializes in Personal Injury cases. With proper representation, you can feel confident that your version of events is effectively presented, your rights are protected throughout the process and you are receiving the proper medical care. Hiring a reputable attorney will also help ensure that the adjuster takes your claim more seriously.
2. Provide Your Attorney With All Important Documentation and Evidence
The more evidence your attorney is able to present to the insurance adjuster with regard to your injuries and the costs of treating those injuries - including losses due to an ability to work, as well as pain and suffering - the stronger your case will be for a high settlement offer. You should keep detailed records of all hospital visits, financial costs, pay stubs, and any other evidence that could demonstrate the negative impact the accident has had on your quality of life.
3. Seek Care for Emotional Distress
If you are seeking insurance settlement compensation for emotional distress, you need to have quantifiable proof of your emotional distress. Just as you should seek medical treatment for any physical injuries, you should also seek medical treatment for mental injuries, as well. Accidents can be traumatizing, and you deserve to be both treated and compensated for the mental distress you were caused.
4. Do Not Discuss the Accident or Give a Statement to the Insurance Company or Attorney for the "At-Fault" Driver
As the old adage goes, “What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You!" When the insurance company, adjuster or another attorney contacts you, have them contact your personal injury attorney.
5. Never Take the First Offer
The settlement determination is a negotiation, and as with any negotiation, the adjuster is not going to come out of the gate with the highest offer he or she is willing to give. As mentioned above, insurance companies are known for offering low-ball settlement offers and avoiding the need to bring the case to court. Your attorney will be able to advise you on your best course of action in order to get a maximum settlement.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you need strong results-oriented representation. Attorney Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of helping her clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, losses and pain and suffering. For more information and a free consultation, contact Attorney Ann Sheeley at 401-619-5555.