Personal injury claims are often adding insult, to insult, to injury. First there is an incident causing an injury, then you get the third degree from the insurance company. Before you are even finished getting your medical treatment they are pushing to get you to agree to a settlement, or outright denying the claim. Once they make an offer it is usually less than the case is worth.
The number one question I get asked is, “What is this case worth?” Often the answer is rather complicated, but one thing is simple. You will never get paid enough money to live through what injured people have to live through. You will never find a random stranger on the street who will agree to let you break their arm, back, hand, neck, or crack their head open for the amounts the insurance companies want to give, or juries want to award.
So what can you do? First and foremost, get treatment for your injuries! If someone does not have injuries, then a practical settlement of property damage with nominal value for the personal injury should be sufficient. But where a person has physical injuries, medical treatment is vital. And while I personally support chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage as treatment methods for soft tissue injuries, juries in this area are extremely reluctant to give any real
consideration to them as a form of treatment.
Once you get the treatment under way, if your doctor believes the injury is severe and may take several months to heal, then locate an attorney right away. You do not want to be running up on the one (1) year statute of limitations waiting for your treatment to end. It is not uncommon for people to call only a few days or weeks before their statute of limitations. That gives an attorney very little time to gather the information necessary to file suit to keep the claim open. Of course you can always ask an attorney to review a settlement offer to get an idea of whether it is fair. Most attorneys will negotiate for you at a significantly reduced rate if all you wish is to get an appropriate settlement.
There are so many other factors to consider, that it is best to have an attorney at your side. You must handle any unpaid medical bills, reimbursement of your health insurance company, repayment of your personal auto insurance carrier, Medicare issues, and possibly any other number of issues that relate to the collision. An attorney handles these things for you so you don't have to deal with it. You want to make sure this is all handled so that when you settle and receive your settlement check, you know that no one will come out of the woodwork years later to ask for money.