You’re driving along minding your own business when suddenly you are rear ended. Or, perhaps you were working on the job and received an injury through faulty equipment. These scenarios and many others just like them happen every day to innocent people. What are your options if you get injured through no fault of your own?
Taking the First Step
Hopefully, you and anyone else who was involved were not seriously injured. The first thing you want to do it to dial 911 and report the accident. Plan to remain on the scene until the police arrive. When they get there, it’s important to give the full details of what happened to the best of your ability.
Once they have the statement recorded, then you’ll need to contact your insurance company and report it. Once again, give as many details as possible. If you or anyone else suffered injuries, even if they seem minor, you should err on the side of caution. Head to the hospital for a full examination. This way a doctor can examine you or the injured party and determine if there are other concerns.
What are Your Options if you get injured?
If the accident was no fault of your own, and either you or a passenger suffered serious injuries, you have several options. When you have PIP (personal injury protection) on your policy, your insurance company will cover all the medical expenses until the case closes and a final determination of who’s at fault get determined. If the accident happened on the job you can go through worker’s compensation.
In the meantime, you will be able to get the medical treatment you need without having to cover the expenses on your own out of pocket. You could also elect to go through the other party’s insurance company. If you choose the second option, it’s important to send a copy of all the medical bills associated with the accident to your insurance company so that they have a copy of the records for their file.
Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are not happy with the progress of the case or you feel that the settlement offered by the insurance company is too low, which is often the case, you can contact a personal injury attorney to represent you.
Insurance companies want to settle a case for as little as possible to retain their profit margin. It’s not in their best interest to offer more than they have to when trying to close out a file.
This is where a personal injury attorney can help. They know the laws of the state and the practice of the different insurance companies. Many of these attorneys also have the respect of the insurance companies, wherein the insurance company knows that they only take on cases that contain real incidents with serious injuries.
This makes it easier for you and your family. They also have you see their doctor for a confirmation of the sustained injuries. Once they have the doctor’s findings they factor in the loss of wages and loss of quality of life in order to come up with a fair settlement for you.
Handling Your Expenses While the Case is Open
If you have PIP (personal injury protection) on your policy, you can also use this to cover your lost wages, so that you will still be able to pay your bills and have the money for day to day expenses. If you hire a personal injury attorney, the firm will pay all of the future medical bills.
This will help to free up most of your PIP on your policy, allowing you to use most of it for daily expenses and monthly bills. If the injury happened on the job, workers compensation will issue a weekly check that’s roughly 66-percent of your salary.
h2b>Deciding Whether or Not to Go to Court
Most times the insurance company for the other party will try to settle it versus going to court. There are many reasons they will try to do this. First, it’s cost effective; there are no additional court fees and attorney fees involved. Secondly, most cases that settle rather than go to court, settle for less than what the injured party would receive if they had their day in court.
It’s up to you and your attorney to decide if the proposed settlement offer is worth it. Your attorney will review the numbers and then contact you to go over it in person. If you agree it will settle. If you do not think it’s a fair offer, then you can advise your attorney that you want to go to court. The final decision on the personal injury case is always yours.