If you are injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may have a claim for damages for your medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Understanding how the insurance adjustor handles your claim will help you know what to expect and how to receive fair compensation.
What insurance companies are involved in my claim?
In most personal injury cases, you could deal with multiple insurance companies: one is usually the company which insures the person who caused your injuries and the other may be your insurance company for auto or health.
Who pays first?
If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on your auto insurance policy, PIP pays for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses up to the PIP policy limits, regardless of who is at fault. However, you will have to pay back a portion of the PIP payments to your insurance company at the time you receive your final settlement payment from the at-fault insurance carrier. This is called subrogation.
Should I hire an attorney right away?
Not necessarily, but you must be aware of how insurance adjusters try to lessen your claim for damages. For example, the other party’s insurance adjuster will try to schedule an interview with you. They will ask for a recorded statement of what happened, a description of your injuries, and a list of any prior medical problems you have. They may ask you to sign a release to collect your medical records, and they may immediately try to settle your claim. However, you do not have to do any of these things. You should immediately consult with a lawyer, like one of our Everett personal injury attorneys, before responding to their insurance company’s request for information. It is important to remember that the insurance adjuster’s main goal is to settle your claim as quickly as possible and for as little as possible.
What’s a fair settlement for my injuries and damages?
This depends on your injuries and resulting damages – your total lost wages, all of your medical bills for treatment related to your injuries, pain and suffering, and other factors, such as how the injuries affected your life. Each case is unique. An experienced personal injury lawyer can present your damages to the insurance adjuster in such a way as to maximize your settlement.
When should I settle?
You should not settle until both you and your doctor agree that you will not get any better or worse. Once you settle and release the negligent party, you cannot ask for additional money if you need future medical treatment for your injuries. You need to remember that you must settle your claim or file and serve a lawsuit on all negligent parties within the time limits prescribed by law. Failure to do so will bar you from recovering your damages.
Dealing with a personal injury claim? Have a question about fair compensation? Contact The Walthew Law Firm for a free consultation. Our Seattle and Everett personal injury attorneys and workers’ compensation lawyers work to make sure you get the medical treatment and settlement you deserve.