You can’t really predict when an accident will occur in your life. They are unexpected and can happen in an instant. On the other hand, the recovery after an accident, both physical and financial, can take some time.
At Schenk Podolsky we’ve been handling injury cases in Arizona and have been guiding our clients through their legal journeys.
After your accident, it’s important to seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s order for the most optimal recovery. So here’s a short list of tips on how to follow up and follow medical advices
Complications – After your accident it’s important that during your recovery, you do everything you can to avoid any complications. There’s a really go reason why your doctor gives you specific advice for your recovery period. These advices can be to improve mobility and not lose function in your injured limb, to properly clean and wash your wounds in order to avoid infection, to refrain from some foods and avoid certain drugs while you’re taking other types of medication and so on.
These recommendations and instructions are crucial in order to avoid serious complications that might have huge consequences. Furthermore, they might also help that a minor injury doesn’t turn into a serious problem.
Expert advice – Getting second and third opinions are fine although you should really focus on the opinion that you doctor gives you. After all, doctors are highly trained and educated professionals who dedicate their lives in helping the sick and injured. Doctors as medical experts have a comprehensive knowledge and understand what’s the best wait to treat your injuries in order to achieve maximum recovery.
Adjusting your treatment – When you follow your doctor’s orders and report back, the feedback that you provide is very beneficial because it shows to your doctor whether the treatment plan is working and how effective is it. You feedback provides the necessary information in order for your doctor to adjust the treatment if necessary or even explore entirely different treatment plans. So make sure that you tell your doctor whether you feel discomfort, have certain reaction to medication and so on.
The big picture – The long term goal of your follow-ups with the doctor and rehabilitation sessions is to achieve best long-term outcomes. And even though every injury is unique, patients that don’t follow-up regularly with their doctor or physical therapist, might not achieve the same level of recovery as other people. So make sure that you stick with your follow-up schedule and do your exercises with your physical therapist regularly.
Keeping track – Reports, notes from your doctor or therapist are a result of you following your doctor’s/therapist’s orders. There documents represent a timeline of your recovery, starting from the initial diagnosis, treatment plan and various stages of recovery. When a doctor or therapist reviews your documents, he can see clearly how much progress you made. Furthermore, the documents can also be a valuable source of proof when you decided to file an injury claim.
Insurance company techniques and tactics – WE are all aware that insurance providers would like to pay the victims as little as possible and they will use various arguments to achieve this e.g. advise you not to seek medical attention regularly and to follow up. By doing this, they can later on argument that your injuries weren’t so severe since you didn’t follow up with your doctor, and thus they will minimize your compensation. So instead of listening to the insurance company about your recovery and following up, make sure that you stick with the advice that your doctor and medical professionals gives you.
Fatal auto accidents are something we often hear about on the news, and the reports sometimes make us wonder – is the number of accidents going down or up?
The laws of texting while driving, additional enforcement on drinking while driving and the variety of safety measures should really make a difference.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) the answer is yes, but it’s a bit complicated. The number of fatalities in automobile accident has dropped by 2.4% compared to 2018.
Unlike automobile accidents, truck accidents are on the opposite end of the curve and have increased by 0.9% in a recent year. Most of the time, in truck accidents, the ones that suffer in the collision aren’t truckers, but other drivers and passengers that they hit.
From the automobile-related fatalities 62% of fatalities were drivers and passengers of cars and small trucks. Only 3% of fatalities were commercial or large vehicles.
Trucking fatalities – Common causes
The American economy is switching towards home deliveries and shipping. This not only increases the number of products that get moved around, but also puts a bigger pressure on truckers to make deliveries on time.
Alcohol-related collisions have decreased in 2018 which means that the most common causes of trucking accidents are actually:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor driver training
- Poor truck maintenance and
- Reckless driving and speeding
Increase safety on the road
Even though the number of tricking accidents is growing, there are certain things you can do in order to reduce the risk:
- We should all practice defensive driving
- Drivers should avoid being next to or directly behind (tailgating) large trucks or in their blind spots.
- Practice the 3 second rule.
- Be diligent in wearing your seatbelt – Not sure if you know but more than 85% of survivors of car accidents were buckled up.
- If you see any form of reckless or irresponsible driving, like texting, you see that the driver is tired or he is doing anything else that might jeopardize your life or the life of someone else…don’t hesitate in calling the police.
Everyone should do what they can in order to support the implementation of the national polities and increase the safety on the roads. Keep in mind that trucks are normally 25 times heavier than regular cars so truckers should pay extra attention to driving responsibly and ethically.
If you were hit by a large truck
If you or your loved one was in an accident involving a truck, you’re most likely going through a challenging time. Trucking accidents, since they are more severe than car accident, can leave pretty severe injuries and disabilities that turn your life upside down.
Accidents that involve trucks and big rigs are most of the time complicated and can mean a lot of complicated and convoluted paperwork. So having a skilled and qualified personal injury lawyer is required.
If you need counsel regarding a personal injury claim from a car or truck accident, contact us today.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted many areas of our lives, it has also effected the way we and our work as well.
Policies regarding shutdowns non-essential work, social distancing and remote work, have impacted both employers and workers around the world. Some industries, which have been heavily affected by the outbreak and where the risk of exposure is much higher, are now working even more. And it’s only natural that workers in these industries have concerns about their health and the risks they are exposed to at work.
Covid-19 & Workers’ Compensation in Arizona
During these uncertain times, the ICA (Industrial Commission of Arizona has noted that workers who contract the Covid-19 may be able to establish that they contracted the illness at their place of work and thus qualify for a work injury compensation.
With this possibility, employers will be further motivated to minimize the presence of employees at the workplace who display symptoms of Covid-19 or that have been diagnosed with the illness.
Response to workers’ compensation claim is possible. If an employer wants to challenge the claim’s validity, he can do that through the employer report of injury and needs to provide the insurance carrier the necessary information and document which will support the challenge.
Who’s eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
In time of this crisis, when the cause for concern is a quick-spreading virus, the workers that contract the virus are having a very hard time to establish how they contracted the virus and with that uncertainty, they might not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
But in cases of public safety workers, it’s presumable that they contract the Coronavirus, or any other serious disease while doing their job and responding to a situation like this epidemic. So naturally, it’s highly likely that their illness is related to their employment. And as such, they are entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits.
But what happens to those workers that aren’t in the public safety profession? Well, at the moment, there’s no presumption for compensability. This is mainly because it would be very hard and difficult to prove the connection between their work and their illness. So they might need to explore other possibilities for compensation.
If you fall into a category of employment which is not related to public safety, and you need legal counsel on what type of compensation benefits you’re eligible for, contact us today and let us help you.
Auto insurance is not just a legal formality and requirement. It’s also a very important aspect in protecting your financial stability and health.
Before picking an auto insurance company, you need to know what type of insurance is there, what coverage they offer and what will happen to your premium if you get into a car accident. And in case you were in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to say and not to say to your auto insurance company. These things can have a big effect on your insurance claim.
What auto insurance coverage do you need?
There are a number of auto insurance forms and not all of them are mandatory. Some are even voluntary. For example, auto insurance in Arizona includes:
- A minimum of $15,000 per person OR a $30,000 per accident in bodily injury
- A minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage
This sounds pretty generous and reasonable. Except when you find yourself in an accident where the damages are much higher. This can impact your financial health, because you will have to pay for the extra costs out of your own pocket. So that’s why we highly recommend that you maintain higher level of protection with your auto insurance so that you are sure that you have sufficient coverage. These voluntary coverages include:
UIM or Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage – If you’re in a car accident and the person responsible flees the scene, or is underinsured or uninsured, you will be left without any recourse unless you have an UIM.
Comprehensive coverage – This type of coverage is great if you want to protect yourself against damages from vandalism or car theft, basically from things that are out of your control.
In order to make sure that both you and your loved ones are insured, locate your auto insurance policy, look it over and if necessary, increase your coverage.
Speaking with an insurance agency after the accident
When you get into an accident, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report it. The other driver’s insurance company might also contact you. Communicating with both insurance companies is crucial, because one misstatement can make your insurance claim invalid and will dramatically reduce the amount of coverage you can receive. That’s why it’s important that you limit your communication with the auto insurance companies in very specific ways:
Communicate only about facts – You need to understand that the goal of every auto insurance company is to settle the case for as little as possible. That’s the job of the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjuster are representing the insurance company, so no matter how pleasant they sound, keep in mind that they are not representing your best interest. So when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, speak only about facts, without providing ANY opinion, evaluation or to admit anything.
Admitting fault – Often will insurance companies claim that you were the person at fault. If they try do to that, just say nothing. You can’t really know whether you were the one at fault or not, without being fully aware of all the aspects of the accident. For example, you don’t know if the other driver was under any influence, distracted, violating some other law etc. These are all important things required to determine who is at fault.
Calls with insurance companies – When you’re on the phone with an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that the entire phone conversation is being recorded and noted down. This information can be useful in further minimizing your insurance claim. So make sure that you pay extra attention to what you tell the adjuster. Choose your words carefully.
Hiring a lawyer – Since the insurance claim can be a bit complex and complicated, the safest bet would be to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf. And if you sustained some type of injury due to the accident, we recommend using a personal injury lawyer as the best option. Lawyers are well-versed in these cases, they know the procedure in and out and will be able to navigate more efficiently in order to get you the highest claim possible.
If you were in an auto accident and you need help filing an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, contact us today and let us help you out!
Sometimes, we lose someone we love due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior. In those situations, it’s important to know a few things about filling a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a lot of questions about this and the process might not be simple. So we decided to share with you the 10 most common questions about wrongful death lawsuits to help you better understand the process.
What’s exactly a wrongful death claim?
Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims are very closely related. They both allow you to seek compensations when someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence.
With a personal injury lawsuit, the law allows the injured victim to file a claim and seek compensation from the responsible party. This compensation is to cover the injured person’s losses.
But with a wrongful death claim, the injured person is not alive anymore so he/she cannot file a claim. So in this instance, another person steps into the place of the injured person and files a claim in his/her name to seek compensation.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
This question depends on a specific state and its legal system. In general, most states allow the personal representative to file a wrongful death claim and this mostly refers to a close family member. In Arizona, wrongful death claims can be filed by:
- The spouse of the deceased person
- Children of the deceased person
- Parent or legal guardian of the deceased person
- Personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
Wrongful death claim – Do I have a case?
Determining if someone has a wrongful death case or not isn’t so easy to determine. Each case has a unique set of circumstances and facts. So in order to determine if you have a case, you will definitely need to speak to a lawyer. A personal injury or wrongful death lawyer should be able to help you.
How to file a wrongful death claim?
As before, this also depends on the state you wish to file a lawsuit. Usually, you first need to determine if you’re eligible to file such lawsuit. Then you need to work closely with your wrongful death or personal injury lawyer so you could file the claim before statute of limitation expires.
How to prove wrongful death?
Each US state has its own set of laws when proving wrongful death, but in general, the plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased
- The defendant breached said duty
- Breaching duty of care resulted the death of the deceased and
- Damages that resulted
How long do you have to file the claim?
The time you have to file a wrongful death claim (or any type of claim basically) is called the statute of limitations. This is not the same for all states, so you should definitely check with your personal injury lawyer. For example, in Arizona, the statute of limitation for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. Same applies for New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and many other states.
How much can you sue for in a wrongful death claim?
Usually, wrongful death claims allow you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. These compensatory damages should compensate the party for loses and the usually include
- Medical bills
- Lost wages for the time the deceased was in the hospital
- Future wages
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
- Burial and funeral expenses and
- Loss of companionship
Average settlement for wrongful death
Since every wrongful death case is unique, with its own unique facts, it’s really difficult to determine what’s the average settlement. But when you consult your personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer, he will be able to give you a rough estimate of the settlement.
When hiring a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, you can discuss that he takes your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that he/she will only be paid if you will the lawsuit and you get compensated.
Is a lawyer really necessary?
Since wrongful death cases can be pretty complicated, we highly recommend that you hire a wrongful death lawyer. He/she will advocate for your best interest and if you have additional questions you can always ask him/her.
The Covid-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, is something we never faced before. In the US alone, there are over 300 thousand confirmed cases. People are advised to isolate, keep the social distancing measures and to work from home if possible.
In order to keep their homes safe too, many people rely on the information and guidelines released by the CDC on how exactly to use EPA-registered disinfectant products. These products are sued to safeguard your homes from the contagious outbreak.
If you want to learn which disinfectant products have been approved by EPA, visit their official website here.
Since disinfectant are strong chemicals, they need to be handled properly
Disinfectant products are efficient in killing germs, but they can be pretty hazardous to people’s health and that’s why they need to be handled with care. This is by no means an attempt to discourage people to use these products during the Covid-19 outbreak, but consumers should make sure that they handle disinfectants properly and with caution.
The majority of disinfectant products contain ethanol, formaldehyde, chlorine or ammonia. There chemicals can seriously harm humans or their pets if they touch them, if they are ingested or inhaled. Some of them might even be flammable or corrosive.
In order to minimize the exposure to these harmful effects, consumers can follow tips from HSH (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). What you need to focus on?
Labels – make sure that you read the label carefully before using the product. Only use it in the manner how it is described and in ways that it was intended
Packaging – cleaning products should be kept in their original packaging. Don’t transfer them in other alternative containers like bottles, jars etc.
Mixing – Under NO circumstance should you attempt to mix disinfectant products.
Inhaling – You should NEVER attempt to inhale or sniff containers in order to determine what’s inside. By doing so, you might cause injuries to yourself.
Air circulation – When using chemicals, make sure that your windows are open and your house fans are turned on. This will help air circulation and will clear your home of any residual chemicals left in the air.
Kids – You should ALWAYS keep dangerous chemicals away from your kids. Put them somewhere on a tall shelf where they can be out of their sight and reach.
Protective gear – When handling disinfectant chemicals, make sure that you’re wearing protective gear (gloves).
These disinfectant products are the most effective way in our fight against Covid-19. But we need to keep certain safety measures when we handle these chemicals and disinfect our homes.
When it comes to personal injury claims, they all require you to have an experienced attorney who is well familiar with the process and knows the differences from cases involving auto accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect. But what are the main burning questions when it comes to personal injury law?
Is your personal injury claim valid?
If you want to pursue a successful personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. Extensive medical treatments are usually part of every personal injury case. However, not all personal injury claims have physical injuries. Some have non-physical harms or losses. A good example is if someone attacks your professional reputation or invade your privacy. These can all be good grounds for a personal injury claim.
How soon can you file a lawsuit?
This depends from one state to another. To be more precise, on the states ‘statute of limitations’. This statute basically determines how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. Of course the statute of limitation differs from case to case. Some states have a statute of limitation of 4 years for a personal injury lawsuit, but for medical malpractice this statute is only two years.
The best thing you can do is to pursue the lawsuit as soon as possible after your injury. This is because preservation of evidence is very important in these cases. Furthermore, a standard procedure involved in a personal injury case is investigation done by your personal injury attorney, which can take some time.
What is negligence exactly?
Negligence concerns actions taken in a specific situation by a ‘reasonable person’. For example, you would expect a truck driver (or basically any driver) to obey the traffic rules and to drive at full attention in order to avoid putting themselves and others at risk. In the event that they cause a car accident because they didn’t pay enough attention while driving, they can be liable for the accident.
So basically, someone is negligent if he/she fails to act in a way an ‘ordinary reasonable person would’ in a specific situation. Personal injury cases are generally found on negligence.
Will the person at fault be punished?
Personal injury cases are NOT criminal actions. They are civil actions. Jail terms cannot be sentenced to defendants in personal injury cases. The same goes for criminal fines. This is because there was no real malicious intent that caused the injury. The cause of the injury is negligence.
Nonetheless, in some rare cases, there can be punitive damages. Punitive damages have a goal to punish the defendants that were reckless OR didn’t act in the best interest of the public. The end result of punitive damages is to discourage defendants to behave in such way.
If you think that you have a valid personal injury case, because someone else’s negligence caused you harm, contact us today and let’s review your case together!
When someone gets injured due to someone else’s negligence, they assume that they are entitled to receive compensations for the medical bills. And they are right. However, that’s not the only damage available to you.
Sometimes, injuries will prevent you from working so naturally, you can pursue that your lost income be compensated as well. You will be able to get more information from your personal injury lawyer. He/she will provide more details on how to determine lost wages and what is the reasonable amount you should expect in a fair settlement. But before you speak to a personal injury lawyer, here are some tips on how you can calculate the approximate lost wages.
The calculation process starts with you collecting documents that will serve as proof to your claim and support the claim that your injuries are preventing you from working. The most common documents include:
- Tax returns
- Paycheck stubs or paycheck forms
- Settlement sheet for three years prior and every pay period since the accident (if you’re a trucking owner or operator)
- Business records or documents (even CPA letters) if you’re a business owner
- Other documents depending on your unique circumstanced
In order to document that you need to take time off from work, you need to ask your doctor to issue a statement that will describe in detail, how much time you have to take off from work until you are fully recovered from your injuries. This is important as it will act as medical support to justify your absence from work. Your personal injury lawyer can help you secure this information through various reports or depositions.
In addition to all these documents stated above, you should also ask your employer to give you copies of your most recent checks or pay stubs. This will show how much did you earn before you got injured. And as the final document, you need to ask your employer to write you a statement that will confirm the information about your employment.
Calculating your lost wages
Calculating your lost wages, mainly depends on how you’re paid. It will be different if you’re paid by the hour, you receive a salary or you’re paid by some other basis.
When you’re paid by the hour, you will multiple your hourly wage with the total number of hours you missed because of your injuries.
So for example, if you’re paid $20 per hour and you work 8 hours a day and you missed 22 days of work, your lost wages will be:
20 x (8 x 22) = $3,520
In other cases, where you’re paid on a salary basis, the calculation is a bit different. Your annual salary gets divided by 2,080 (the number of working hours in a year). Then you will take that number and multiply it with the number of working hours in a day (so 8) and with the number of days you didn’t work because of your injury (let’s keep it 22 as before). If we assume that your annual salary is $50,000 the calculation will look like this:
$50,000 / 2,080 = 24.04
24.04 x (8 x 22) = $4,231 in lost wages
Of course, lost wages aren’t the only income that you can recover. If you receive other forms of income such as regular overtime, commissions, bonuses etc. these can be recovered too. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you about those as well and he/she will provide more information.
Lost income of Self-employed people
Let’s assume that you’re a self-employed person, maybe a web designer working from home. Even through you’re technically not employed by anyone, you can still claim your lost income. What’s different in this scenario is that your lost income consists of your earning AND profit that you would make if you weren’t injured. In this case, you have to gather documents and records that will prove the earning that you expected from the day you were in an accident until the date of judgement or settlement. Useful documents are: 1099 forms, invoices you issue to your clients / customers, records from your bookkeeper or accountant, receipt, communication between you and your clients/customers and so on.
Other income losses
Aside from your past income that you lose because of your injury, you might also be entitled to claim certain future income losses and your lost earning capacity. This will require your personal injury lawyer to work with an economist or vocational expert to establish your lost opportunities in the labor market.
Even through determining lost wages might seem like a pretty straightforward process, it can be rather difficult and complicated in some cases. That’s why you should work with a personal injury who is well informed about this and who can really help you. You can of course do some calculations on your own, but it’s best to let the attorney do the real math and negotiate on your behalf.
In our previous blog posts we’ve summarized that car accident are life-changing events that can occur out of nowhere. One moment driving down the motor way listening to the radio, and in the next your car is totaled, your body is aching with pain and you’re trying to grasp what has happened.
We also talked about what insurance companies usually do, how they want to deny or minimize your claim payment and what reasons (or tricks) they use to deny your claim. Today we will be focusing on the tips on settling a car accident claim.
Contacting the authorities
If you wish to successfully settle your car accident claim, there are several things you need to do immediately after the accident.
First and foremost, you need to contact the authorities and wait until the police arrives at the scene. Once the police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly what happened and seek medical attention if you need to. You might not feel that you need help from a doctor, but that can be a result of the shock your body went through. So make sure that you get examined by the doctor. Once the effects of the shock settle down, you will feel the effects of the accident. This can take a few hours.
Once the doctor establishes that you’re safe and not injured, take photographs of both damaged vehicles and make sure that the license plates are clearly visible. You should also make notes about the other car e.g. the make, model, color and exchange information with the owner of the other vehicle. Taking photos of the scene and location is also a good idea because this will provide useful information on the weather, traffic signs and even skid marks.
Doing this, you’re starting the car accident settlement the right way. Also, you need to keep in mind that you might not be settling the claim directly with the owner of the other vehicle, but rather with his insurance company.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all accidents will lead to a totaled car. Some will just end up with minor property damage, for which you don’t heel to have an attorney. It’s easy to settle this.
But if the accident caused severe damage to your vehicle and caused significant injuries to you, you should really consider getting help from a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. It might help your claim.
Experienced personal injury lawyers are well informed about the process to come and can anticipate the strategies that the other side will implement so he/she can be well prepared.
The goal of the insurance company is to protect the bottom line and their self-interest. They do this by offering you very low settlements and they might even try to dispute the entire claim. But having a good personal injury lawyer in these cases can help you a lot because he/she will be negotiating on your behalf.
Recorded statements and documents
It’s not uncommon practice, that insurance company representatives will contact you as soon as they learn about the accident. The representative might sound reasonable, friendly, polite and helpful but keep in mind one thing…they work for the insurance company, not you. The goal is to minimize the value of the claim. And since many car owners aren’t exactly skilled in these matters, the insurance representatives will even try to use some rather questionable methods to get what they need/want.
One of the things they might use are recorded statements. If you get asked to give a statement, politely decline and tell the insurance representative that you will be speaking with an attorney first. This is your right before giving any statements. You might as well use it.
Another thing that insurance companies also do, is send you documents like a medical authorization or similar. The strongly advise that you DO NOT sign any type of authorization that comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Why? Well because then the insurance company can then dig through your medical history looking for a way to prove that some of your previous injuries were the cause of the accident.
So when settling a car accident claim, it’s imperative that you speak to a personal injury lawyer. He will be negotiating with the insurance company, he will release any medical records and advise you on giving statements.
A car accident can change your life in an instant and it can happen without any warning. As if injuries aren’t enough, but you also might need to navigate the complex and lengthy process of an insurance claim. This can be both stressful and confusing, especially if you know nothing about car insurance claims.
But the question still remains. How do car insurance claims exactly work? Here’s what you need to know about car insurance claims, especially if you were injured in a car accident.
After the car accident that you were involved, you should notify the insurance company right away. In some states you can file the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. And in other states, different rules will apply. For example, did you know that Kansas has a no-fault insurance system? This basically means that if you were in a car accident and you’re not the at-fault driver, you have to file the claim with your own insurance company.
After the accident, in most cases the insurance companies will contact you. Sometimes even while you’re recovering. Once the claim gets filed, the insurance company appoints an adjuster who will evaluate your claim and determine its worth.
You might think that the adjuster is here to work in your favor. Well, he/she isn’t. The adjuster appointed by the insurance company works for the insurance company’s interests. The sole goal of the adjuster is to minimize the amount that the insurance company will pay you for your claim.
Working with the adjuster
It’s often the practice that the insurance adjuster will contact you in order to get more information about the accident. The adjuster might even ask you to give a recorded statement. However, if you haven’t yet spoken to a personal injury lawyer, we strongly recommend that you don’t give a recorded statement to the adjuster or any other representative from the insurance company.
The recorded statement and any other evidence is collected for processing your claim. So when the adjuster asks you to give a statement, just politely decline and let him know that you will be willing to give a statement once you consult your personal injury lawyer. In case you’re still under some stress from the accident or you’re experiencing pain and take medication for it, allow yourself some time to pass before giving a statement. Also, you can rely on your personal injury lawyer to negotiate the process with the insurance provider.
Sometimes, the car accident will only cause property damage and no one will be injured. In cases like that, the insurance claim process is pretty simple. The insurance company will ask you to take your car to the mechanic, who will then assess the damage and provide the estimate to the insurance company. Car accidents that only end in property damage is something that you can handle. So you don’t really need a personal injury lawyer.
Determining who’s at fault
It’s the adjuster’s job to determine who caused the accident and who’s at fault. Sometime, even when the police record clearly state that you’re not at fault, the adjuster will try to dispute it.
Another practice is that insurance companies sometimes want to settle a claim rather quickly. If someone from an insurance company approaches you and makes you an offer, don’t accept it. It’s best to first speak to a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your claim. Because when insurance companies make you an offer right away, the offer is usually extremely low compared to the realistic value that you should be compensated for (the insurance company is trying to pay out as little as possible).
Once your personal injury lawyer evaluates your claim, you will realize that the offer from before was really low. The lawyer will provide you a range of values and a fair offer from the insurance company should fall within that range.
When you agreed on how much you would request from the insurance, the lawyer will draft a letter, include additional proof and send the new offer to the insurance company. The insurance company can do three things: accept your offer, offer you a lower amount or just deny it.
As you can see, the insurance claim process is not as simple. The entire process can be a complicated maze you need to navigate and that’s why it’s important that you have a good and experienced personal injury lawyer who will support you.