Have you been injured on someone else's property? If so, you may be considering your options to help pay for your medical expenses, such as file a personal injury claim. If you want to take this route to get reimbursed for your doctor bills, check out these four facts you must know about your personal injury settlement, so you get every cent you deserve.
You Need to Treat Injuries Sufficiently
Most likely, after your injury, you'll go to the doctor or the emergency room, depending on the severity of the injury. This is important because it shows the insurance carrier and courts (if you decide to sue) that you were truly harmed at the time. When you do go to the doctor, you will likely be given a recommended treatment plan to help reduce your injuries.
Unfortunately, some patients may fear if they "get better" before the case is finalized, it will reduce their settlement. While that may be true, it is reduced fairly. However, if you stop following the doctor's advice, it will affect your settlement because the insurance carrier will argue you injuries are less severe than you claim.
You May Be Partially Responsible
If you trip and hurt yourself on someone's property, they aren't always completely to blame. If someone invites you over, but doesn't warn you that the porch is weak and you hurt yourself, you probably aren't partially to blame. However, if the damage was obvious, but you were distracted, such as texting while walking, you may also be found to be a little responsible.
In most states, you still can get a settlement, even if you are found partially responsible. Your settlement will simply be reduced. If you are found to be 10 percent responsible, your settlement is reduced by 10 percent. However, there are some states that follow contributory negligence. With contributory negligence, if you are even a little responsible, you get nothing.
A Formula Is Used to Calculate Your Settlement
With insurance companies, you really are just a number. In fact, they use the same special formula to determine your settlement that they use for everyone else. The first factor the insurance carrier considers is the cost of your future and past medical bills because they are usually always covered after an accident.
They then determine the extent of the accident and assign it a rank. The rank number is multiplied by your expected medical expenses. The worse the accident, the higher the rank. The problem, however, is that even minor accidents can cost you a lot in ongoing medical expenses. This is why it's essential to have a lawyer help negotiate on your behalf. They will help make the formula more personalized for you.
Your Settlement May Include More Than Medical
Medical bills aren't the only expenses that may be covered if you do get money from the insurance carrier. One common expense may be lost income. If you are so injured you haven't been able to work and/or won't be able to work for a while, your lawyer may be able to argue additional money to pay for your lost wages.
Pain and suffering is another expense you may be able to get if you have an attorney on your side. Pain and suffering are harder to measure. It is often unseen (depression, loss of love for life, etc.) and hard to put a dollar amount on.
If you are seeking a fair settlement after an injury, there is a lot you need to know. Instead of trying to do it alone, hire a personal injury attorney who won't get paid until you win your case. For more information regarding personal injury, contact an attorney in your area today.