How to Get the Best Settlement from Your Injury Case
Getting injured in an accident when someone else is at fault will have ramifications that may not be readily apparent at the time of the incident. The physical and emotional trauma will very likely be at the forefront of your mind at the time. Getting medical treatment for your injuries is the very first thing that need to be taken care of, before you can sit and consider what to do next.
If you have been hospitalized for your injuries, its likely that the pain medication that will be administered will greatly cloud your ability to decide what the next steps are that need to be taken to protect your interests. Unfortunately, the insurance agencies will very likely try to take advantage of your vulnerable situation directly after the injury causing accident.
Tactics the Insurance Agencies will Try to Save Them Money
All the major, national insurance companies are not in business to help anybody but themselves. They have policies and procedures in place to minimize the amount of money that they have to pay out to people who have been injured. These massive corporations do not care about you or your family’s well being and will take great steps to try to short-change you on your payout.
The major way that the insurance companies and agencies will try to not pay what is fair to you is by taking advantage of the general public not knowing just how much they can be entitled to in damages after an accident. Sure, most folks know that they will need to cover their hospital and doctor bills and even cover property damage but that’s about it. This is why they will likely rush out to see you while you are still in the hospital and attempt to get you to take a low-ball offer, before you even have a chance to talk to a personal injury lawyer.
During this initial visit, the insurance adjuster will try to get you to fill out a “formal statement’ about the incident. This “statement” is a form filled with leading questions with the purpose of trying to get you to admit that you were at fault, or partially at fault for the incident that led up to your injury. They will then use this statement as evidence against you to reduce the amount of compensation that they will have to pay to you for your injuries.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP
After being injured, the last thing you will want to do is shop around for a good attorney. However, hiring representation directly after the accident will be one of the best ways to ensure that your bills will be paid.
The very first thing an experienced injury attorney will do is run interference with the insurance agency so that you do not have to deal with all of their sneaky tricks and tactics. If you have a lawyer, the insurance agency will have to deal with them while you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
The next important step your lawyer will take is to gather as much evidence from the incident that clearly shows that the insured was liable for the injuries that you have sustained. The amount of evidence that can be gathered and sent to the insurance agency will clearly show the insurance agency that the chances of them winning in court would be slim to nil.
This evidence will be compiled and sent to the legal department of the insurance agency along with what is called a demand letter. The demand letter will have a detailed accounting of all of the damages that have occurred from the accident. These damages will likely include not only medical bills and property damage, but also a demand for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, lost time with friends and family, along with other possible damages depending on the situation.
Most often if the evidence is compelling enough, this demand letter will be met with a settlement offer that will be much higher than the hospital bedside offer that was given prior to hiring a lawyer. The insurance agency and your attorney will then begin to negotiate with offers and counteroffers being given and received.
Your attorney will use the leverage of filing a formal complaint in these negotiations with the hopes that the insurance agency understands that if the case did go to court, they would surely lose.
After you have been injured and someone else is to blame. The best thing that you can do is to immediately find an experienced injury lawyer. Most lawyers of this kind offer free consultations, and only take their fees out of the money that is awarded to you. This way, you do not have to pay a retainer to get them on your side, like you would to a divorce or criminal defense attorney.
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