One of the most common legal actions you’ll encounter is a personal injury lawsuit. But navigating a personal injury claim is not always as cut and dry as you might think. For instance, many often have the expectation that their insurer will handle any personal injury claims filed against them. If you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you may expect that the defendant’s insurance company would indeed cover everything. But it’s not always the case. After all, insurers are in the business of saving money. Their chief priority is to limit losses and increase profits. It’s not uncommon for an individual injured in a car accident being left holding the bag when the insurance settlement offer is exceeded by the medical bills and lost wages they had to endure. That’s one reason it’s very important to have an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process.
Once an accident is reported to the defendant’s insurer, they’ll begin an investigation to determine who was at fault. Their objective is typically to halt the process before it gets to the courts, which can take the award amount out of their hands.
Insurance Adjuster Call
Once you file your claim and the investigative process begins, you will likely receive a call from an insurance adjuster who will get your side of the story. At this stage in the process, saying the wrong thing can potentially damage your claim. You could find yourself with a reduced settlement offer or worse, a denial.
The call typically begins with a request for information. However, their objective is to benefit their company, which could result in you being offered much less than what you’re owed. So be careful how much, and what information you advance. Of course, you want to avoid acknowledging fault or to provide information that could indicate fault. Here, it’s important to have an attorney representing your claim. You can relate your side of the story to your attorney and they can advise you on how to respond to insurance adjusters’ questions.
Additionally, the adjuster will request documentation of medical expenses and other available documentation that supports the facts of the claim. But your attorney can also advise on what documentation you can safely provide.
If the insurer finds that you have been injured as a result of their client’s actions or negligence, they may offer a settlement to cover your damages. Should you accept the offer, you may be asked to sign an agreement describing the settlement, the terms of which may include a release. This release will ultimately preclude your recovery of any future claims emanating from the accident from on their client’s behalf. What that means is if your injuries require ongoing medical treatment or therapy, you will be on the hook for those expenses. Likewise, should the accident result in a loss of wages or even loss of employability, signing away your rights in order to receive a quick settlement offer will mean you can’t return to the well to claim damages even if you’re entitled to be paid for the expenses in question as a result of the accident.
Finally, your own insurer may ask that the expenses they paid out in pursuing the claim on your behalf be reimbursed by the other insurer. These are all expenses that must be considered when signing away your right to future compensation as a result of an accident.
If you’ve been injured as a result of the neglect or misconduct of another, you should consider retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney who can advocate on your behalf before you begin engagement with an insurer. It’s important to protect your right to compensation at the earliest. Expenses mount quickly after an accident and the at-fault party’s insurer will likely look to limit their losses quickly. Don’t make the mistake of accepting a quick settlement offer before speaking with an experienced attorney who can outline the full scope of damages you may be entitled to in your claim. Call the experienced personal injury attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000. We offer a free case review, and we don’t charge a fee unless we recover damages for you.