Major injuries from a motor vehicle collision can result in great upheaval and distress in one’s life. The physical pain of serious or catastrophic injuries and the negative emotional impact are no small matter.
Many victims also immediately suffer the stress of financial difficulty. Sometimes vehicle repair costs aren’t fully covered. Similarly, even if a person has health insurance, there may be big deductibles and copays to cover. There might also be missed work and lost wages.
In these situations, securing a quick settlement from the responsible insurance company can be a huge relief to the injured person and their family. A quick recovery of available insurance limits, or an otherwise fair settlement, can help put you on the road to a successful physical, emotional, and financial recovery.
You have to be careful though! Insurance companies actually like to settle cases quickly, because they know many people will settle their cases without adequate preparation, and thus settle for far less than is fair.
The first step towards quickly settling your case is determining all available insurance coverages
If you have serious injuries, it’s important you are aware of all possible insurance policies before you settle your case. The type and amount of coverage available varies from case to case.
Fort McMurray Types of insurance coverage available after an auto accident may include:
• 3rd-Party Liability
• Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
• Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
• Commercial Insurance Policies
• Umbrella Insurance Policies
• Homeowners’ Insurance Policies
Policy amounts can vary, from the Washington State required liability limit minimum of $25,000, up to having multiple coverages available worth many millions of dollars.
Sometimes determining the available insurance limits can be as simple as asking the other driver’s insurance carrier to determine what coverages that driver possesses. Unfortunately, often these adjusters will be coy or even outright refuse to disclose this, in which case litigation may be needed to compel disclosure.
Outside of litigation, there is no requirement that an insurance carrier or driver be forthcoming about their policy limits. When an insurance company is not forthcoming about their insured’s policy limits, it allows them to delay, deny, and create uncertainty about your claim.
Similarly, determining one’s own auto coverage may not always be a simple matter. For example, suppose that a household member is not a named insured under your own policy. Will your uninsured motorist coverage be deemed effective in the event that household member is struck by a motor vehicle? The clues necessary to answering such a question can be found in the fine print of your policy. But what happens when the interpretation of the policy language is not obvious?
Once you’ve identified the available insurance limits, demand the immediate payment of those limits—or some other amount that you think is fair.
You will need to fully document every last element of your losses and damages in a way that is compelling to the insurance company. Both past and future medical billings are customarily a central part of this, with future medical needs requiring a statement from one or more physicians to document that they are reasonable and necessary. You can also recover both past and future lost income, which again requires careful documentation and supporting medical evidence and physician statements.
The most crucial component in demanding a quick insurance settlement is effectively communicating how the accident has personally impacted your life.
Our legal system places a high value on the quality of a person’s life. The damages paid for pain and suffering can be large. Loss of enjoyment of life, loss of activities, impact on personal relationships—these are all things we suffer when we sustain serious or catastrophic injuries.
Communicating this side of your story – this very human side of your story – can be a delicate undertaking, but it is an absolutely crucial step in ensuring that the insurance carriers do not try to escape with anything less than complete policy limits. Often, statements from family members and close friends can play a huge role in successfully documenting the impact a serious injury has had on someone’s life.
While the steps to a quick settlement are straightforward, there can be a lot of work involved, and there is no guarantee that an insurance company will play fair even if you’ve documented your case thoroughly.
Lehmbecker Law knows what it takes to resolve claims quickly, and how to get it done fast.
Our personal injury team is very adept and knows how to apply pressure to insurance companies to identify all available coverages. We know how to find coverage that might otherwise be overlooked. We know how to read and interpret insurance policies in a way most beneficial to our clients. We also do what is necessary to confirm there aren’t any additional defendants that should be pursued – like a driver’s employer or the State (where the road conditions contributed to the collision).
Additionally, we investigate the financial background of the defendant in the event we wish to bring a case for damages over and above the insurance policy limits. Also, a background check can turn up defendant-owned corporations, which may reveal additional insurance policies.
Finally, it’s essential to determine whether or not the accident victim has any financial responsibility to pay back their own insurance company, health insurance companies, or Medicare.
Financial responsibilities such as these often result in liens against the case. All liens must be negotiated to minimize the reimbursement required, so that the seriously injured person ends up with the largest net settlement possible.
Lehmbecker Law always quickly identifies these liens so we can aggressively negotiate them and prevent them from holding up the settlement of a case. If you need help resolving a serious injury claim quickly, Lehmbecker Law is here to help.