A Personal Injury Lawyer presents a threat to the insurance company which they always need. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your claim. Or simply, because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith.
A Personal Injury Attorney demands compensation for your loss including pain and suffering when:
- Death is caused;
- A fractured bone is suffered;
- Permanent and serious disfigurement is caused;
- A “sense” is lost such as hearing, sight, taste or smell;
- Loss of a body member is suffered;
Proof of any one of the elements above typically require that you obtain your medical records. A Lawyer will obtain your medical records for you upon receipt of your written consent typically in the form of a Release. You may then decide with the advice of your lawyer whether you should pursue your action against another party for damages.
A Negligence is defined as “a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another. Personal Injury Law includes all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm. Negligence falls under three categories:
Intentional – purposely inflicting injury.
Negligent – causing an accident that results in injury.
Strict Liability – manufacturing, marketing or selling defective products that result in injury.
The most common grounds for a civil lawsuit involve negligence. When an accident occurs due to negligence, the injured party may file a claim against the negligent party to recover all their damages.
In order to prove negligence, you must establish your claim with the following facts:
Negligence – The other party was negligent.
Causation – Their negligence caused the accident.
Damages – You suffered damages as a result of the accident.
TYPES OF MONEY DAMAGE CLAIMS
A Personal Injury Attorney brings years of professional experience to calculate the extent of monetary damages.There are two elements to the calculation of monetary damages:
- the negotiation with the insurance carrier assessing fault;
- the calculation of damages,including: medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, current and future loss of income, loss of enjoyment and in certain cases, punitive damages.
When trying to determine the amount of the claim it is usually easiest to add up the money spent and lost due to medical bills, rehabilitation, lost time at work and so forth. The pain and suffering issue, however, is much harder to put a price tag upon.
Insurance claim negotiations have to begin somewhere, so the adjuster usually adds up all of the medical expenses to come up with a base figure. Next, the adjust multiplies the amount of this base figure by 1.5 to 5 depending upon the severity of the personal injury and the long-term implications for the injury. In extreme cases, the multiplier can go as high as 10. Last, the adjuster adds any income lost due to the personal injury. The sum of these three steps is where claim negotiations begin.
Since most claims have a multiplier that falls between 1.5 and 5, it is important to know how this multiplier is determined since the monetary differences between a couple of points can be enormous.
The claims adjuster usually takes these points into consideration:
- How painful was the injury?
- How invasive and long-lasting will medical treatment be?
- How obvious is the medical evidence of injury?
- How long is the recovery period?
- How serious is the permanent affect of the personal injury?
- How much treatment was received from a physician or at a hospital as opposed to physical therapy or other non-physician treatment?
The multiplier goes up in accordance to the severity for each of the answers to these questions. Another multiplier, or actually a reverse multiplier to this total amount is the percentage and extend of each person’s fault in the matter. A person may be deemed 50-percent or 80-percent at fault, which will reduce the total amount by whatever their fault percentage happens to be.
Once the claim negotiations have started, then the insurance company will also factor in its chances in court if this is where the claim ends up, the legal fees, and the time and money spent by the insurance company in preparing for court. So, the most important thing for the consumer who has been afflicted with a personal injury is to know the basic guidelines that insurance companies use in assessing claims and how much room to negotiate there is.
Sometimes court is the last resort, but most times claims can be settled out-of-court if both parties are working off the same page. If the insurance company is willing to settle for the amount owed under their policy, however, one may consider filing a bad faith insurance claim against the carrier in order to encourage adequate payment. Consulting a personal injury lawyer for such cases is advisable.
Statues of Limitation
A Personal Injury Lawyer prevents insurance company delays which in time will bar the cause of action.
Statutes of limitations restrict the time period that a person can file a lawsuit. These statutes not only vary by state, but they also vary by cause of action. If a cause of action is not filed within the statutory period it will bebarred.