After an automobile or pedestrian accident, slip or trip injury, home or other premises accident, or any form of injury sustained from a defective product, it is likely that a personal injury claim may be pursued in order to recover compensation through an insurance settlement.1 At times a reasonable insurance settlement offer can be secured without the assistance of an attorney, but there are special circumstances and complex negotiation procedures which warrant legal representation.
The Basics Behind Insurance Settlements
An insurance claim is used to recover for property damage, bodily injury, or both after some accident or event.2 Securing a settlement offer is normally obtained through a back and forth negotiation process between the claims adjuster and the claimant.3 An insurance claim is based upon the general policy and claim worth, but takes into consideration specific factors such as medical expenses, lost earnings, future lost income, and general damages such as pain and suffering.4
Though the settlement process is designed to be simple there can be complex struggles when trying to resolve a dispute, because of the uncertainty, fear, confusion, or frustration an injured party may have after a loss or injury. The general nature of a settlement negotiation is based off of conflicting interests; an insurance company’s financial interest is to provide the minimum payout possible while an injured party’s financial interest is to settle for the maximum payout. The presence of conflicting interests within a common business structure is why having an attorney with experience and knowledge can help a party properly pursue a settlement. Depending on the type of accident, one of the first questions a lawyer can help you determine is what insurance company to file a claim with: you own policy or other insurers of liable parties.5 In the instance of a car accident, a lawyer can also help you understand the variety of coverage options that may be available to seek compensation from such as medical payments coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured driver coverage, or health insurance coverage.6 The assistance of an attorney can also increase the amount of general damages within a settlement offer by determining the amount of pain and suffering or mental anguish.7 Also, an attorney can help you pursue a settlement by managing the coinciding issues or factors that any claim such as statute of limitations, collecting evidence, or gathering witness testimony.8
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a loss or injury and now are pursuing an insurance claim, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.