- Only One Settlement.
In the typical case, an injured person is entitled to only one settlement. Therefore, the settlement better be a fair and full settlement. One that accounts for all of the past, present, and continuing damages to the injured person.
- Claims Adjusters “Adjust” Claims.
The insurance adjuster is there to “adjust” claims in favor of the insurance company. If the injured person does not completely and properly document his or her damages, the insurance company will substantially reduce the claim.
Injury Claims Are Complex
When dealing with an injury claim, an injured person should be cautious about talking with a claims adjuster. While a claims adjuster may be able to help resolve damage to property (ie: car damage), personal injury claims are more complex.
The reason why personal injury claims are complex is because the injured person has incurred past, present, and continuing damages. There are 3 levels of compensation that need to be accounted for in the injury claim. If you leave out one of these areas of compensation, the injured person is going to receive a low settlement.
Many injured persons accept low settlements because they have not properly documented (to the claims adjuster) all of the past damages, including his or her medical expense, lost income and job benefits, loss of household services, and other personal financial loss. The claim adjuster is not going to assume anything- they want evidence. A basic part of my job as a personal injury lawyer is to make sure all past damages are accounted for.
Present & Continuing Damages
Most injuries that require medical treatment and rehabilitation involve longer term effects. For instance, if a person suffers a head or neck injury, that type of injury will undoubtedly have longer range effects. First, there will likely be periodic pain, discomfort, and physical restrictions because of the traumatic injury. Those are important factors in calculating the total damages in the case.
Moreover, because of the traumatic injury, the injured person will have to learn how to manage his or her injury. Injured people manage injuries in different ways. They avoid activity, curtail activity, take medications for pain control, use home remedies, change work responsibilities, etc.. When a person is forced to manage an injury, that is what we call a compensable injury. In other words, an injured person should be compensated for the loss of quality of life they have incurred as a direct result of the traumatic injury.
While not every injury case is appropriate for legal representation, legal consultation is almost a necessity. Whether be by phone or in the law office, legal consultation will give you the insights into how maximum recovery can be obtained. “Maximum recovery” is the standard we must operate by in every case. It is recovery that accounts for all of the past, present, and continuing damages suffered by the injured person. If the personal injury settlement is not a maximum settlement, the injured person is forever cut short.
In the case of my law practice, legal consultation is always free of charge. While I like to meet people at one of our convenient consultation offices, phone consultation can always be arranged at 816-795-7500.
Sincerely, Doug Horn