Settling an injury case can be very difficult. In fact, over the past few years, insurance companies have created an environment where it is almost painful to deal with an insurance claim. They have done so to discourage anyone from filing an accident claim against one of their policies. When an insurance claim is filed, there are several items that the insurance company scrutinizes before they make a settlement offer. Some of the things they may look at that could affect the offer they make include:
- Accident Liability
- Overall Injuries
- Wage Losses
- Prior Accidents
- Prior Injuries
- Prior Medical Conditions
- Prior Insurance Claims
You may wonder why insurance companies look at past accidents and medical records. They want to find anything that could possibly reduce the amount of money they will offer. They will tie all previous medical conditions to what you may be experiencing now, shifting the cause from the accident to something long ago. As experienced accident attorneys, The Miley Legal Group understands what the insurance companies are looking for and what "dirty" or "cheap tricks" they may use to reduce the settlement offer they make.
Your Accident Attorney Provides the Tools you need for Your Injury Claim
Most other law firms and personal injury attorneys do not want you to know these secrets. They want you to need to hire an attorney, while we want you to have the best information available when you make decisions on your case.
Secret #1: Accident Victims Must Understand the Evidence Needed to Prove and Win.
When filing a claim, accident victims must have the evidence needed to prove to the insurance company what happened at the scene of the accident. This will include the police report, witness statements, photographs, medical records, wage loss information and anything else that will show what happened before, during and after the accident. This should include the medical recovery of the victim and all costs of property damages.
Secret #2: Accident Claims can take Time to Resolve, Patience is Necessary.
One of the things that attorneys realize early on in their careers is that insurance companies are very slow to act and in fact will take as much time as the law allows to gather evidence and decide on a claim. This generally does not translate well when it comes to most accident victims. Like you, most victims want to get their claim filed and settles as quickly as possible. They are tired of dealing with doctors, insurance adjusters, and even the paperwork, but this is a process, and with each step, there are important decisions to be made that will impact the amount of settlement received.
West Virginia law allows an injured party two years to file a lawsuit from the date of injury. Some claims can be resolved well before then, but the insurance company also knows that they have that time to negotiate and settle the claim outside of court and since most people do not want to go to court, they use that to their advantage. Once a lawsuit is filed, the court will then work out the timeline, and with the number of steps required to take care of before an actual hearing, it could take another year or so before a judge hears the case. This again is something the insurance company will use to their advantage. That is why patience is the key when dealing with an accident claim. We understand that most victims want to move on with their lives, and we want to help them do that, but being patient and letting the process work out only provides a benefit to the accident victim when it comes time to discuss a settlement and getting a fair one at that.
Secret #3: Follow Up with Medical Providers
An accident victims medical record is one of the most important pieces of information in an accident claim. It tells the story of what happened because of the accident and what the victim went through to recover. It is a chronological look at the suffering that the accident victim went through and it must match what is being claimed. The insurance company will rely on the statements, notes and medical bills provided by all the medical providers that you see after an accident. They will meticulously go through each page to find any way to relate your injuries and treatment to something other than the accident.
One way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries is to follow the advice of your medical providers. They have the experience and education to back up what they recommend for your recovery, and their notes and records will be counted on if your case moves to trial. It is always in your best interest to follow your doctor's advice. Make sure you follow up with every appointment and follow all their instructions. Unfortunately, if you don't then the insurance company will see that as a weakness in your claim and your offer of settlement will ultimately reflect that.
Know You Know the Accident Insurance Claim Secrets. What's Next?
Now that you know that secrets that most attorneys will not share with you, we suggest you take them to heart when trying to determine what is the best action for you to choose. Should you wait to see what the insurance company offers? Should you hire an attorney immediately? Should you forget about your claim and deal with the pain and suffering?
Our position is always to do what is best for accident victims. We want, you to understand the process and what is going through an insurance adjuster head when they are attempting to decide on your claim. We want you to have the facts.
If you have any additional questions or need additional information, we encourage you to reach out to us for a FREE consultation.