If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what steps you should take in order to successfully claim compensation. One step that you will likely have to take includes getting insurance companies involved.
But what do insurance companies do in personal injury cases, exactly? While a lot depends on the nature of your accident and the circumstances surrounding it, there are some basic things that you can expect, both from your company and from the company representing the negligent party.
Breaking down the process
- The first thing your insurance company (and the other party’s insurance company) will do is investigate the accident. Insurance agents will gather evidence, such as police reports, witness statements and medical records to determine who is at fault.
- If the other party’s insurance company determines that they are at fault, the company will offer you a settlement. This offer is supposed to be based on the amount of damages that you have suffered, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
- If you feel that the settlement being offered to you is reasonable, you can accept it. Otherwise, you can negotiate the settlement with the insurance company. This is obviously a crucial step in the process. Keep in mind that insurance companies will try to convince you to accept the lowest settlement they can possibly offer, because they don’t want to spend any more money than they have to. This is why it’s smart to enlist the help of a qualified personal injury attorney, who can advise you on whether or not the settlement offer is acceptable or if you should hold out for a counteroffer. (Attorneys can also handle the back-and-forth with insurance companies for you.)
What if negotiation doesn’t work?
If you’re unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company even after negotiation, the next step is to file a lawsuit in civil court. You will have to prove in your suit that the other party’s negligence caused your injury. Again, having an experienced lawyer in your corner is crucial here; it’s better to rely on their expertise than to try to navigate the many ins and outs of a lawsuit on your own.
What else should I consider?
Here are some additional suggestions for successfully dealing with an insurance company after a personal injury:
Be sure to keep all of your medical records and bills. This documentation will be important in proving the extent of your injuries and the cost of your treatment.
Do not sign any documents without first having them reviewed by an attorney. As mentioned above, insurance companies may try to persuade you to sign documents that waive your rights or limit the amount of compensation you can receive. Don’t commit to anything before talking to your lawyer and having them go over the documents in detail.
Be persistent. You may need to be a little tenacious in order to get the compensation you deserve. Make sure your attorney understands your needs and is willing to lobby on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and you believe you’re eligible for compensation, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.