How to Claim Personal Injury Compensation
Personal injury claims typically arise as a result of an accident. Maybe someone rear-ended your car in traffic and you were injured as a result, or maybe you were getting coffee when you slipped and fell – these are examples of personal injury claims. If someone else caused your injuries, or had some duty to prevent injuries or protect you from harm, they may owe you money.How to Claim Personal Injury Compensation
Find out if there is an insurance policy. If you believe someone else is responsible for your injuries, you need to find out if they have liability insurance to cover their negligence.
Occasionally, you’ll be working with your own insurance company. For example, if you’re in a car wreck with someone who doesn’t have insurance, but you carry uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay for the injuries you suffered.
Talk to the claims adjuster. Once a claim is filed, either by yourself or by the other party, a claims adjuster will call to get your side of the story, find out the extent of your injuries, and assess your physical, mental and emotional damage.
you don’t need to prove anything to the claims adjuster, just relate the facts from your side of the situation. You want to emphasize that the other person was careless while you were careful, and that the accident wouldn’t have happened if they had been more careful.
Speak calmly and politely, and treat the claims adjuster with respect and professional courtesy. Avoid getting too personal and try to remember that the adjuster is just doing her job. She’s not an evil villain, and she’s not out to get you.
Attempt to negotiate a settlement. Typically, the claims adjuster will calculate the damages from your injury, such as your medical expenses and lost wages for time off work, and arrive at a number she feels will compensate you.
Don’t jump at the first offer the claims adjuster extends, even if the amount sounds okay to you.
Claims adjusters usually have permission for a range of offers, and they start at the lowest end of that range.
During negotiations, don’t expect the claims adjuster to explain to you what formula she’s using to compute the monetary damages she’s offering you. If you want to make your own calculations, try using an on line personal injury calculator, or talk to an attorney about valuing your case.
Look at all of your documents and read any notes you’ve made about the accident or your injuries before you begin negotiations with the adjuster. You want the facts to be fresh in your mind and you want to have them immediately available, rather than having to hem and haw.
Review your settlement. If you are unsure whether the amount the adjuster offers you is fair, or if you believe you should get more, consider having a personal injury attorney review your settlement. The attorney may be able to get you more money.
Make sure you read the settlement documents carefully before you sign. For example, your settlement may contain a clause that precludes you from filing a lawsuit in the future if something else happens related to the accident.
This would mean that if you had complications years later that related back to the original injury you sustained in the accident, you’d be unable to get any more money.