Steps To Making a Personal Injury Claim

When it comes to making a claim against an insurance company after you’ve been injured by the wrongdoing of someone else, it can be a complex process and it often depends on the specific details of your case. Here are some general steps and tips you may find helpful:

1. Document Medical Expenses

Keep thorough records of all medical expenses related to the incident. Include medical bills, prescription costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any other relevant costs. Make sure all expenses are reasonable and necessary for the injuries sustained. Always remember that your medical records and bills will be given to the insurance companies and will serve as the primary basis on which the insurance companies will determine how much to pay you. Consequently, you want to make sure your medical records and bills are accurate and consistent.

Even if you follow these steps, anticipate that the insurance companies will argue that: (a) you weren’t really injured; and/or (b) your medical bills are overinflated. Insurance companies are notorious for making these arguments to pay you less. Having an experienced personal injury attorney address these arguments is often the best way to receive more compensation for your injuries.

2. Provide Evidence of Injury

As previously mentioned, your medical records and bills will serve as the primary basis of how much compensation you’ll receive. Thus, you’ll want to gather medical records, bills, doctor’s notes, and any other documentation that proves the extent of your injuries. Be sure to include diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and photographs of injuries, if applicable.

3. Prove Liability

To obtain compensation from the insurance companies for an incident that you did not cause, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault. Clearly establish and provide evidence of the other party’s liability in the incident. Include police reports, incident reports, witness statements, photographs, and/or any other relevant documentation to the insurance companies.

4. Review Your Policy

Carefully read through your insurance policy to understand its terms and conditions. You may have additional insurance coverage called “Underinsured Motorist Coverage,” “Uninsured Motorist Coverage,” or “Medical Payments Coverage.” These are different types of insurance coverage that you may be able to collect from on top of what the other side has in insurance coverage. You will also want to pay particular attention to what exclusions or limitations may apply, as that can determine whether your insurance company will compensate you.

5. Communicate Clearly

Prepare a clear and concise written communication to the insurance company explaining why you believe they should pay you the amount that you desire. Include a summary of the incident, the injuries sustained, a breakdown of the medical expenses incurred, and a deadline for them to respond (usually 15 to 30 days). You should also include specific examples of how the incident affected (or still affects) your daily activities, hobbies, and mental wellbeing. This will assist you in arguing for more pain and suffering compensation.

6. Negotiate with the Adjuster(s)

Be prepared to negotiate with the insurance adjuster(s). Insurance companies are notorious for making low initial settlement offers. In general, you should never accept the insurance company’s initial offer, as they often have additional money set aside to settle your claim.

Instead of accepting the insurance company’s initial offer, you should typically provide a counteroffer. A good rule of thumb is to make at least three counteroffers before accepting the insurance company’s offer, but every case is different, so some may require more or less. Regardless, provide the adjuster(s) with all necessary documentation and make a persuasive case for why you’re entitled to the amount you’re asking for. Remember to be persistent and professional in your communications.

7. File a Lawsuit

If the insurance company refuses to settle for the amount you are asking for, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company. Lawsuits, however, are very complicated and take a substantial amount of time and work. For instance, the insurance company will typically want to ask you questions during the lawsuit, which is typically first in writing and then in person (which is called a deposition). It will often take several months to a year for the insurance company to ask their questions and receive your responses. After the insurance company receives your written answers and completes your deposition, then they may or may not be willing to increase their settlement offer. If they don’t, and you don’t accept their settlement offer, then your case will go to trial.

8. Consider Legal Advice

In the event you lose at trial during your lawsuit, you could be responsible for paying the other side’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Therefore, because making a personal injury claim can be complex for individuals who are not familiar with how the claims process works, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice tailored to your situation. At Roebuck Law Firm, we can handle and/or assist with the above-mentioned steps for you, and your only job is to get the medical treatment you need to get better.

It’s important to note that we know a large network of doctors that can treat you for free upfront and we can often get you same-day appointments. Initial consultations with our firm are always free, and you pay nothing upfront for our legal services. We only get paid if we win your case. The faster you call us about your case, the stronger we can make your case by gathering crucial details and evidence to present a strong case. As such, if you want to make big bucks from your personal injury claim, call Roebuck Law Firm at 855-BUCKSSS (855-282-5777).