The role of insurance in a personal injury claim is significant and complicated. Having a basic understanding of the associated dynamics will help you in the long run.
In general, property damage claims are typically resolved within 30 days, and you should receive a settlement check within that time frame. On the other hand, personal injury claims are more difficult to pin down with an exact timeline. The duration of the personal injury case depends on the severity of the injuries sustained. In some instances, clients may require surgeries or ongoing treatment for several years after the accident, which makes it challenging to assess the case’s value and anticipate future expenses.
In a typical case where treatment spans six to eight months, expecting a resolution within a year is reasonable. However, each case is unique and relies heavily on the specific facts and circumstances. For example, suppose you are undergoing treatment, and your doctor is uncertain when it will conclude. In that case, the timeline may be extended further. In addition, insurance companies are generally reluctant to cover prolonged treatment, which could lead to further delays in reaching a resolution.
Tactics Insurance Companies Employ
Insurance companies will often go to great lengths to preserve their interests. This is when the role of insurance in a personal injury claim really shows its nasty side – it often involves obtaining recorded statements and scrutinizing various documents, such as medical records. Alternatively, they may attempt to dig into your past accident history to find grounds for comparative fault. In doing so, they may suggest that you should have been more vigilant while driving, without having substantial evidence supporting their claim. All in all, these tactics are aimed at denying your claim or delaying the settlement process.
In any case, it is important to recognize the dynamics at play: my goal is to diligently work for my clients, uncover the facts, assess the accident’s impact on their lives, and strive for a fair settlement. However, for insurance companies, things are simply a numbers game where they aim to pay out as little as possible. Meanwhile, my clients face the challenge of sustaining their livelihoods, fulfilling financial obligations like mortgage and car payments, and providing for their families – especially when their injuries prevent them from working.
Interacting With Your Insurance Company
In most cases, I advise clients to avoid involving their own insurance companies in their case. However, due to the interconnected nature of computer systems and the legal obligations of the at-fault driver’s insurance company, there are situations where it may be necessary or unavoidable. For instance, if you rely on a vehicle for work and do not have access to alternative transportation, your insurance company might be able to assist you.
This is often necessary because it is not uncommon for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to conduct an investigation before accepting liability. Unfortunately, this investigation can take weeks, leaving you without a means of transportation during that time. In such circumstances, if you have coverage for a rental car through your insurance policy, you should contact your insurance company. Notifying them allows them to protect their interests as well as yours, ensuring you have the necessary support during the investigation period.
It is important to remember that each situation is unique, and consulting with a lawyer can provide you with advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
Interacting With The Other Party’s Insurance Company
To protect your interests, it is best to consult with a lawyer before engaging in any discussions or providing statements to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Your attorney will guide you through the process and safeguard your rights throughout the legal proceedings.
In almost every case, you can expect to be contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company adjuster. Adjusters are sophisticated and highly trained in gathering information that will support their case and align with the company’s goals — ultimately preserving their bottom dollar. As such, they may request a recorded statement from you, but you should not provide them with one.
Without the guidance of a lawyer, you may be unaware of their intentions or the potential consequences of your statements. You may unintentionally say something that can be twisted in a manner that works against you. For instance, if they ask how you are doing and you respond with “I’m okay,” it may not accurately reflect your actual condition. It could simply be a typical response as a greeting. However, they can use that recorded statement to argue that you claimed to be fine, disregarding any pain or discomfort you may have experienced earlier. Incidentally, once you inform the insurance company that you are represented by a lawyer, they are legally obligated to communicate with them and not you directly.
Accepting An Offer From An Insurance Company
You should almost never accept the initial settlement offer from an insurance company. This is because when insurance companies make quick settlement offers, it is not driven by benevolence – but rather a concern that your injuries might cost them more. They simply want to minimize the amount they may have to payout.
Of course, there are instances where the at-fault driver may have a policy limit of $15,000 with no additional assets to pursue, while your claim is worth $50,000 or more. In such cases, it might be valuable to expedite the resolution, as there would be no further benefits to obtain. However, it is important to recognize that quick and easy solutions are rare since they depend on specific accident-related facts and injury assessments.
For more information on the Role Of Insurance In A Personal Injury Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (337) 240-6697 today.