Handling your own personal injury claims, as mentioned, is possible, especially if you have taken legal matters on your own in the past. But for those who are “new” to this and are considering self-representation, here are factors you need to consider:
• Injuries: If you suffer a few bruises at a public place, it’s likely the establishment will not put up so much of a fight and would offer you quick settlement that will cover medical expenses with a little extra for yourself. On the other hand, if you were involved in a serious car accident and you sustained major injuries, you may want to discuss your case with a lawyer instead of toughing it up on your own.
• Who’s at fault: When it’s evident that the other party is the one to blame for the accident, including several witnesses that can testify on your behalf, then you could pull through a settlement on your own. However, if it’s not clear whose fault it is, expect to have somewhat of a “fight,” wherein you will need to hire an attorney.
Things To Do
Here are tips to do before you send a letter to the other part’s insurance company:
• Take photos of property damage, injuries, accident scene, etc.
• Obtain a verified copy of the police report
• Seek medical treatment
• Pay for initial bills with Personal Injury Protection and your health insurance. Make sure to gather copies of bills and records.
• Make sure not to give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company.
• Understand the time limits of your claim.
• Do not post something on social media about your accident.
The Cost Of Damages
Two types of damages are used in personal injury claims. The first type is special damages, which include property damage, medical bills, lost earnings and lost earning capacity, and other financial losses related to the accident. Another type of damages is the one not capable of exact calculation, which includes pain and suffering and mental issues that result from the injuries. There are no exact guidelines to determine the settlement value of an injured person’s pain and suffering.
Send Your Demand Letter
A demand letter is sent after an investigation into the accident has been made. Send a demand letter after you have taken a thorough look at the impact of the injury in your life and you have made a reasonable valuation.
Keep in mind that the insurance company will likely low-ball you—this isn’t new, so make sure you know how to negotiate. There’s no problem if your demand is on the high side because it will give you more wiggle room to negotiate. Consider the counter-offer and decide if you want to accept it or not.