If you have been injured in an auto accident, and the other driver has some fault in the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. This will help you recoup money for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, as soon as the claim is filed, the defendants' auto insurance company may begin working to reduce their liability in the case. This can save them money and reduce the amount of your final settlement. Being prepared for these actions will help you to understand what is happening and to take precautions to maximize the settlement you may be entitled to. Here are a few things an auto insurance company may try to do to reduce the amount of money you may be entitled to after you file an auto accident injury claim.
Showing That You Had Some Fault in the Accident
One of the things that you can expect the defendants' insurance company to do is attempt to show or prove that you had some fault in the accident. If they are able to prove you had some fault in the accident, they may be able to reduce the amount of your settlement. This is known as comparative negligence. If the insurance company is able to prove you have fault, your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault you had in the accident. So, for example, if your case is worth $10,000 and the accident is deemed to be 25 percent your fault, you would only be able to recoup $7,500, because the other driver was only 75 percent at fault.
Trying to Claim You Have Been Over-Treating
When you file a personal injury claim for an automobile accident, you are able to seek reimbursement for your medical expenses. However, if an insurance company feels that you have been over-treating, the settlement amount they offer may be less. If they can prove in court that you have been receiving palliative treatment that wasn't medically necessary, a judge may agree with them and reduce the amount you are awarded. As such, it is important that you only seek out medically-necessary treatment, instead of over-treating, hoping it will make your case look stronger. The opposite can occur.
Finding Proof of Previous Medical Injuries Similar to What You Are Claiming
If you have been injured in an automobile accident and the other party is at fault, you are able to receive treatment for the injuries you have sustained in the accident. However, the treatment you receive is only intended to get you back to pre-injury status. If you already had an injury to the same body part, the insurance company may argue that you should not be receiving treatment or compensation for that injury because it was pre-existing. If you already had a bad back, and re-injured it in the car accident, your best bet is going to be to consult with a personal injury lawyer. You have to prove that your back is worse now than it was prior to the car accident in order to receive treatment and a settlement for the injuries. This may involve obtaining your past medical records and deposing the doctor who treated your back in the past.
Discrediting What You Claim
The last way an insurance company may try to reduce the amount they have to pay to you is by trying to discredit what you say. These days, many people use social media to let people know what is going on in their lives. However, the defendants' insurance company may monitor your social media accounts and watch what you do as well. If you are claiming to be injured, but post pictures of yourself constantly dancing in a club, having fun at a fair or amusement park, or carrying heavy shopping bags, the insurance company will use this information to minimize your injuries or discredit your claims. Many attorneys recommend you stay off of social media once you file a personal injury claim to avoid having this happen to you.
The defendants' insurance company is going to work diligently to attempt to reduce the amount of money they may have to pay out after you file a personal injury claim for an automobile accident. Knowing this and being prepared may help you avoid making a mistake that can cost you.
For help with your auto accident personal injury claim, contact a law office like the Law Offices of Burton J. Hass.Share
11 April 2016
Getting hurt while on the job can leave you in pain and without an income for some time afterward, but that doesn't mean that you have to start going to the food banks to make ends meet. Working with a lawyer to file a personal injury case (if the injury was due to neglect by another party) is a great way to get compensation you deserve for lost work, and to get your medical bills paid so you don't have to pay out of pocket for high deductibles. This website was built with love to provide you with up-to-date information you can use when working with a lawyer, filing paperwork, and dealing with all of the hoops and red tape of your personal injury case. Hopefully you can find the support you need right here.