Posted on September 29, 2011 by emorgan
Are you a victim of someone else’s mistake or negligence? The party at fault is liable for any personal injuries you have sustained. This means that if a driver caused a car collision with you, he or she has to pay for damages and personal injury that resulted from that accident. It is important to know that fair and just compensation for your injuries may be very considerable.
You can expect that in many cases (particularly in medical malpractice or car accident claims), you will have to deal with the insurance company of the party at fault. You may need to do some negotiating for you to get payment that is commensurate with the losses you suffered from the injury. This is especially if you don’t want to have to go to court to make your compensation. Doing so will put the compensation amount in the hands of the judge and the jury and may take a lot of waiting and expenses on your part.
Here are some tips to help you with your negotiations for the insurance settlement:
- Gather and keep documentation. Keep your evidence on hand for you to present to the insurance company. This will show the insurance company what can happen if you do decide to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. The insurance company will usually try to assess your chances of winning the case and just how much you stand to receive as a settlement. The more evidence you hold, the more chances of your winning. Evidence includes pictures of the scene of the accident, police reports and witness statements, as well as medical records from the doctor who treated you for the injury. The evidence should also be able to point out the degree of liability the erring party had on the accident.
- Know and list down the losses involved in the personal injury. This does not just entail the medical expenses you have already incurred for the treatment of the injury. This also includes: loss of income (and/or subsequent loss of your job), expenses for rehabilitation, incidental expenses (i.e. cost of childcare while the spouse takes care of you, transportation expenses to and from the hospital, etc.). It is best to keep a record of receipts and bills.
- Keep track of pain and distress you suffered. Pain and suffering is also compensated (for some states). Thus, you should list down the emotional trauma and physical pain you underwent. A journal outlining these may be helpful.
- Be aware of the statute of limitations. All states have set a period by which you can make your claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. The insurance company knows this. Please note that the statute of limitations may be from one to two years. The insurance company may try to drag their heels in giving you a fair settlement offer before time runs out.
- Get legal advice/representation. The insurance company may try to get you to sign a release. They may do this during times when you are especially vulnerable (i.e. when you are laid up in the hospital). It is best that you get legal representation to help ensure that your rights to fair compensation are properly protected. When the lawyer has all the necessary documents, he will send a demand letter to the insurance company, outlining your injuries and how much compensation you are willing to accept. (Of course, this amount will still be subject to negotiations with the insurance company.) Letting the insurance company know that you have legal representation shows that you are serious in fighting for your rights.
- Be ready to file a lawsuit. When negotiations for the settlement don’t come through, be ready to file a lawsuit. Negotiations for the settlement may still continue even after the lawsuit has been filed. What is important is that you don’t miss the statute of limitations on your personal injury claim.
When a settlement offer is tempting
Please remember that once you sign a settlement with the insurance company, you can no longer go back to them to ask for an additional amount. Thus, you need to foresee future expenses, especially with regards to your therapy and recovery. You should work to get enough compensation not just for expenses already incurred but also for expenses you need to meet in the future.
Sometimes, a settlement offer may be tempting simply due to the fact that you want to get everything over and done with. The insurance company may entice you to take the money so that you have funds to spend at this difficult time. However, if you see that the offer is lower that what you should be fairly compensated for and you are willing to file that lawsuit, there is help yet.
Lawsuit funding is a way for you to get ready cash at a time you need it most. Also sometimes referred to as a lawsuit loan, you can use the money from this to cover court-related costs, medical expenses and your family’s day-to-day needs.
One excellent provider of lawsuit or settlement funding is FastLawsuitMoney.com. We specialize in providing quick and easy access to cash, not based on your credit history or your employment standing but on the merits of the case. You also don’t have to deal with loads of paperwork and legwork. Once your case is approved, you can get the settlement loan in as quickly as 24 hours.