When another party causes you to sustain injuries, you could receive compensation from that party for your injuries and damages. In many personal injury cases, accident victims receive compensation after filing insurance claims. The insurance company for the at-fault party compensates the victim.
However, the process of filing and settling insurance claims is not always straightforward. There are some things you should know about insurance claims to protect your best interests.
Filing an Insurance Claim Is Not a Guarantee of Payment
When you file an insurance claim, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will pay your claim. The insurance company assigns an adjuster to investigate the claim. The adjuster’s job is to protect the company from liability. Therefore, an insurance adjuster is not on your side, regardless of what the person might tell you.
Be cautious when dealing with an insurance adjuster. It is not in your best interest to provide a formal statement or answer questions during a recorded conversation without first consulting with a lawyer. The company may use any information the adjuster collects to deny or undervalue your claim.
Your Claim Should Cover All Types of Damages
Insurance claims for accidents and injuries caused by negligence and intentional wrongdoing should include all damages. Damages include financial losses, pain, suffering, and permanent impairment.
Do not allow an insurance company to pressure you to settle your claim before you complete medical treatment. Until you complete your treatment, you cannot know the full extent of your injuries and damages.
You want to make sure that your insurance claim includes all medical expenses, income loss, and other economic damages. Make sure the claim includes future damages for decreases in earning potential and ongoing care because of permanent injuries. You are also entitled to recover compensation for your pain and suffering damages.
The Initial Settlement Offer Is Usually Low
The insurance company may offer you an amount to settle your claim. Initial settlement offers for insurance claims are generally lower than the value of the claim. If you are unsure whether the offer is fair, it is best to seek legal advice before accepting the offer.
The Settlement Agreement Is a Final Resolution
A settlement agreement is a final resolution of your insurance claim. It is a binding agreement that can be enforced in court. Insurance companies draft these agreements for their benefit. Therefore, the agreements generally release the insurance company and ALL parties from any further liability for your injury and damages.
In other words, once you sign the settlement agreement, you cannot try to get more money for your claim. Even if you discover that you cannot work because of a permanent impairment caused by the accident or you need additional surgery, your claim is settled. Because you released your rights, you cannot demand more money.
You Have the Right to Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Dealing with an insurance company can be stressful. You do not have to deal with the insurance company alone. You have the right to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you answer questions, make a statement, or sign any document for the insurance company. The adjuster is protecting the best interests of the insurance company. Make sure you have someone protecting your best interests.
Call Our Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Before you settle your accident claim, contact our office by calling (866) 944-4733 to schedule your free consultation with a Tulsa personal injury attorney.