In my experience the worst mistake people make is to agree to an injury claim settlement too hastily. The insurance company of the person responsible for the injury you sustained will more than likely rush to contact you with an offer of a settlement. These offers may come in less than a fortnight of the accident occurring.
At first it will seem that the insurance company is concerned about your welfare and are trying to compensate you as quickly as possible for your losses. It will seem like the company is being considerate and that they are “owning up” to their responsibility towards you because the person they insured is at fault for the accident.
Most times the insurance company is actually using the quick settlement as a means of having to pay the least amount of money possible to you. When an insurance company sees that their client was at fault for an accident then they try to make the settlement amount they have to pay as low as possible. To make the settlement less they offer the money before the injured party has time to really understand how much they have lost during the accident.
What you should know before you agree to a settlement.
Before you can agree to a monetary compensation amount for your personal injury, you have to know the full extent of your injuries.
- You have to see a medical professional like your doctor and find out what physical repercussions you are likely to have in the future.
- You have to give yourself time to heal and see how much pain and suffering you have to endure before you are finished healing.
- You need to see how much time you are off of work to determine how the accident has affected you financially
- You need to see if you are going to need to buy any medical equipment in the future such as crutches, canes, or wheel chairs.
- You will need to consider how any family members could be affected, if you are the main “bread winner” for example.
What you want from a personal injury settlement
- You want compensation for any time you have missed from work. If your injury is going to cause you to have to change jobs, or have difficulties performing your normal job, then you want compensation for the amount of earnings you would have made at the original job.
- You want to have any training you might require to get in order to qualify for a new job to be paid for.
- You want any immediate medical bills covered. You want any treatment costs to be paid for plus any medications, any medical equipment you have to have, transportation to and from hospitals and so forth.
- You want any future medical costs that are directly caused by the injury suffered during the accident to be paid for, in full. If you hurt your back you want that injury to be medically covered for as long as you have the injury. This coverage needs to include reimbursement for medical supplies, medications, and travel to and from medical facilities.
- You want to be reimbursed for the pain and suffering you might endure while healing and for future pain and suffering you might have to endure.
- You want to be compensated if the quality of your life is diminished due to the injuries you sustained. You want to have the best life you possibly can after the accident and to do this you will have to consider every aspect of your life that the injury has changed.
How to make sure that you are properly compensated.
In order to make certain that you receive the compensation that you deserve after an accident you should not consider any settlement offers without getting the advice from a solicitor. This is my personal advice to you, and according to the Law Society of England it is the best advice. According to the Law Society of England individuals who hire the services of a solicitor when they have been involved in an accident receive monetary settlements that are up to three times greater than the settlements accepted by people who use no solicitor.
A personal injury solicitor will have your best interests at heart, because it is in their best interests to do so. They will use all of the knowledge and expertise they have to make sure that the insurance company compensates you fairly for the injuries that you suffered.
A solicitor will know what things that the court says the other party can be held liable for, and they will know what documentation you will need to prove your injury claim. They will not let the solicitor for the insurance company “bully” you or convince you to take a monetary amount that is less than what you deserve.
So before accepting any first settlement offer for a personal injury, speak to a personal injury lawyer.