Whether you’re dealing with an accident, a mistake or the result of malicious action, you’re going to have to deal with the aftermath. You might try to settle things on your own. You might try to file a lawsuit or otherwise pursue a personal injury claim. When should you make personal injury claims?
The Difference between Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits
A personal injury claim will start as a claim filed by you with the appropriate insurance company. For example, you could file an insurance claim with the other person’s insurance company if they are at fault. You may file a health insurance claim with your insurer for your medical bills but demand the other person’s car insurance company pay your accident related medical bills out of the auto insurance policy.
A personal injury lawsuit is a lawsuit. You file it against the responsible party and/or their insurer. You could even sue your insurance company if they play games to avoid paying a claim they’re contractually obligated to pay. This is often necessary when you’re dealing with an insurance company protecting a doctor or commercial driver from a major claim. When negotiations with the insurer break down, you can take it to the next level by filing a lawsuit.
Sometimes a lawsuit is your only option, such as when you sue someone who didn’t have insurance coverage. This is common due to how many people illegally drive without auto insurance coverage.
When Should You File a Personal Injury Claim?
When should you file a personal injury claim? We’ll cover the most common scenarios, though you can always contact the Baumgartner law firm to review your case.
You Can’t Resolve the Claim on Your Own
You can begin the claims process on your own. For example, you could file a claim with the other person’s auto insurance for the cost to repair your vehicle. This is a viable approach if there is a low claim value and the insurer isn’t fighting with you. If the insurance company is fighting you or the other person doesn’t have insurance, then you have to work with an attorney.
You’ve Suffered Significant Damages
Significant damages would include any claim that hits five digits. You’re dealing with medical bills, property damage, and probably other costs you haven’t taken into account yet. If you settle based on current costs but leave out future costs, you’re losing money. In difficult cases, you may not know all of the associated costs to take into account like paying for child care while at the doctor’s office or renovating your home to accommodate a disabled child.
There Are Several Responsible Parties
Sometimes liability for the damages is split between several parties. Do you file the claim with the commercial driver’s auto insurance carrier or the trucking company’s insurer? Both of them will deny responsibility, and that will delay payment of your claim. What if your health insurer tries to push the issue to worker’s compensation and the company’s worker’s comp insurer says it should be handled by your health insurer? Or there may be several people involved in the accident, each of whom has a percentage of liability while each is fighting for compensation.
Challenges arise when it isn’t clear who is to blame. When someone suffers medical negligence or malpractice, is it the fault of the doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist or hospital administration? What if the medical device manufacturer was to blame? In these situations, you must have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.