Posted on Monday, May 30th, 2016 at 4:28 pm
Have you been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle or defective product? Did you slip and fall on someone else’s property or were you hit while riding your bicycle or jogging? Have you been unable to return to work because you were attacked by a dog and suffered a severe dog bite that required reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation?
These are just some examples of personal injury accidents that result in an insurance claim. In most personal injury cases, the insurance company for the other party pays compensation to the accident victim. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages, you must negotiate with the insurance company to arrive at a settlement amount. Negotiating with an insurance company can be difficult because insurance companies do not like paying accident claims — they are in business to make money and paying your accident claim reduces the company’s profits.
Negotiating with an insurance company requires experience and skill. You can do this yourself; however, we strongly advise against negotiating with an insurance company without an attorney. Below are the steps you would take if you were negotiating with an insurance company and why you should let our personal injury attorneys do this for you.
Steps For Negotiating With An Insurance Company
Filing Your Accident Claim
The first step in negotiating with an insurance company is to file your claim. When you file your claim, an adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster will likely tell you that he needs a signed medical release and a written/recorded statement to verify the facts of the accident in order to pay your claim. This is a tactic used by many insurance companies in an attempt to reduce the amount of your claim. The insurance company will use the information you provide to look for ways to deny your claim. An attorney will protect you from this pitfall.
Proving Fault in an Accident Claim
Under California’s personal injury laws, you must prove that the other party is at fault for the incident that caused your injury in order to receive compensation. In some cases, it may be difficult to prove fault. A thorough and comprehensive accident investigation must be performed to identify and preserve key evidence that will be used to prove fault. Eyewitnesses must be interviewed and expert witnesses may be needed to reconstruct the accident.
A personal injury attorney has experience investigating accidents. They also understand the laws pertaining to evidence and the elements required to prove fault. Most accident victims do not have this knowledge or experience and they can become overwhelmed quickly. The insurance company will take advantage of this to lower the compensation and/or deny the claim.
Calculating the Value of Your Claim
Negotiating with an insurance company requires that you know the value of your claim. The insurance company wants to pay you the lowest amount possible; therefore, you must know what your claim is worth in order to ensure you are receiving the maximum compensation allowed by law. Calculating your out-of-pocket expenses is not too difficult. You add all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses together to arrive at a figure. However, you are also entitled to receive compensation for future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish. You may also be entitled to compensation for other losses. How do you value these damages?
Valuing an accident claim can be complicated. There is not a formula for calculating non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Calculating future losses often requires the assistance of a financial expert. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience calculating the value of accident claims to maximize recovery for our clients.
Negotiating With An Insurance Company Can Be Dangerous!
California’s statute of limitations restricts the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the insurance company can keep you negotiating long enough, the deadline to file a lawsuit will expire and you will lose your right to receive compensation. Do not fall for this insurance company trick — consult with an accident attorney now!
Contact Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or chat with a representative on our website to schedule your free legal consultation. Our attorneys are here to protect your right to receive full and just compensation from the person who caused your injury.