Dealing with insurance companies can be incredibly intimidating when pursuing a personal injury claim. One of the most important steps is to gather as much documentation and evidence as possible to support your arguments. Once you feel prepared, submit your claim to the insurance company, including all necessary information to help your case. Keep in mind that you might experience back-and-forth negotiations while looking for a fair settlement amount. If you feel overwhelmed, seek legal advice.
Understanding Your Rights as an Injured Party
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable.
Generally, those harmed by another person can pursue a personal injury claim against that individual to seek compensation for damages such as the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Settlements in these cases are usually paid by the other person’s insurance company and not out of the pocket of the at-fault party.
Pursuing financial recovery allows you to get the funds to make yourself whole again (or as whole as possible after suffering such a traumatic event). It also sends a message to the at-fault party that their actions will not be tolerated and they should be responsible for the harm they caused.
Gathering Documentation and Evidence to Support Your Claims
Providing adequate documentation and evidence is essential for pursuing a just outcome in a personal injury case.
Evidence such as police reports and witness testimony can provide insight into the other person or entity’s negligence. Also, it’s vital to keep documents related to medical visits and bills, as the material can give a clear picture of the severity of your injuries.
Having tangible items and testimonies from others can support your claims. With sufficient proof, you can create compelling arguments to present to the insurance company.
Submitting Your Claim to the Insurance Company
After you have compiled your evidence and developed your arguments, you can submit your claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Once the insurer receives your claim, it will investigate the accident. During the investigation, a claims adjuster may contact you. If possible, keeping your answers concise when dealing with the adjuster is a good idea, as excessive elaboration could complicate things.
After its review, the insurance provider may make you a settlement offer. Don’t be surprised if the amount won’t cover all your damages. Insurers often make initial lowball proposals because they anticipate negotiations. In the worst case, the insurer might reject your claim, but that doesn't necessarily mean the end of your pursuit for financial relief. You have options.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement
Negotiating a fair settlement with an insurer can be intimidating. After all, the company has teams of experienced lawyers at its disposal! But don’t lose heart. The adjuster may initially offer you less than you deserve. Still, this is just their starting offer. You don't need to accept the proposal or their denial of your claim as the final answer. You may still be able to bargain and seek a favorable agreement.
To effectively negotiate, you must provide clear, concise, and organized proof to back your arguments. Evidence of what happened and why will be immensely useful when seeking a just settlement.
Knowing When to Get Legal Advice
One of the most important steps to ensure that your legal rights are protected after an accident is to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In addition to helping evaluate your case and determine what your claim is worth, a lawyer can provide valuable assistance in gathering evidence, building solid arguments, and presenting them to the right people. Furthermore, an attorney can help navigate negotiations with an insurance company by drawing on their knowledge and resources.
Hiring legal representation early on will enable you to make informed decisions throughout the process and give you confidence when pursuing your desired outcome.To speak with one of our Kansas City lawyers at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., please call us at (888) 398-2277 or contact us online today.