In most personal injury cases, the person or business who caused the injury has insurance which pays the person who was injured when the personal injury claim is proven. When an injury occurs, the insurance company has an adjuster review the case and determine how much the insurance company may have to pay. After completing an investigation, the adjuster will contact the injured person and try to reach a settlement which is simply an agreement on how much the insurance company will pay the injured person. If the injured person and insurance company agree, then the settlement is put in writing and the insurance company pays the injured person.
There are several points about personal injury law to keep in mind when settling a personal injury claim.
First of all, an injured person is not required to accept whatever the insurance company offers. The injured person may believe that he/she is entitled to receive more compensation. If so, the injured person can negotiate with the insurance company.
In the second place, people need to keep in mind that when they settle with an insurance company, the insurance company will require that the injured person sign a release stating that the injured person releases everyone from any claim(s) resulting from the event which caused the injury. This release effectively ends completely any and all claims for damages suffered in the injury event regardless of who caused the injury or what was the injury.
Can a Person Settle a Personal Injury Claim without a Lawyer?
Absolutely yes! Injured people can settle personal injury claims without a lawyer. However, it is suggested that people try to settle only minor soft tissue cases with minor medical bills. In case of severe injuries, the damages will be higher and the process will be more complex and it will be more difficult to reach a fair settlement.
If you do want to try to settle you own personal injury claim, be sure to gather copies of police reports, incident reports, witness statements, photographs, lost wage statements, and medical records including ambulance, emergency room, hospital, nurse’s notes, lab reports, doctor reports and bills. You need to know all about your case to tell the insurance adjuster why you believe that you are entitled to compensation for a certain amount. If you know all about your case, you can determine if the insurance adjuster is misrepresenting any facts and correct the information. If you don’t know all about your case, the insurance adjuster may misrepresent some facts and lead you into accepting less compensation.