If you or somebody you know has been injured due to the negligence of another, certain steps should be taken in order to ensure that your rights are protected. The most important thing to do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once you have received the necessary medical treatment, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What is Negligence?
In order to understand when you can sue for negligence, it is first important to understand what negligence is. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care that results in injury or damage. In other words, negligence occurs when someone fails to take proper precautions and harms another person.
There are four elements that must be met for a finding of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The first element, duty, requires that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. The second element, breach of duty, means that the defendant breached this duty by failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would have under similar circumstances. The third element, causation, requires that the plaintiff would not have been injured but for the defendant’s negligent conduct. And finally, damages require that the plaintiff actually sustained some type of injury or losses as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
Steps To Follow After You’ve Been Injured
You may be wondering what to do if you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another. The first step is to understand that you may be entitled to damages. To help you understand this process, our personal injury lawyers have outlined what you need to know about being injured due to negligence.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is always better to avoid caution and get checked out by a medical professional. In some cases, injuries that initially seem minor can turn out to be much more serious than initially thought.
2. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
After you have received medical treatment, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. An experienced trip and fall lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action, and will fight tirelessly to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries.
3. File a Claim
If you decide to pursue legal action, you will need to file a claim against the negligent party. This claim will detail the injuries that you have suffered and will request compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
4. Go to Court (If Necessary)
In some cases, insurance companies will refuse to give victims the compensation they deserve. If this happens, the case will likely go to court, where a judge or jury will determine how much the victim should receive.
5. Get compensated!
After all is said and done, if you’ve been injured due to somebody else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. By following the steps outlined above, you can help ensure that this happens.
Types of Damages That May Be Recovered
If a plaintiff is successful in proving negligence, they may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that can be quantified with a dollar amount and typically include medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify and may include pain and suffering or emotional distress.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants who have engaged in particularly egregious behavior and are only awarded in exceptional cases.
Determining whether or not you have a case can be complicated, and it is always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the specific facts of your situation and advise you accordingly.
No one ever expects to be injured due to the negligence of another person or entity—such as a company or government agency. But unfortunately, accidents happen every day, and innocent people often suffer because of them. If you or somebody close to you has been injured due to negligence, it is important that you take immediate action in order to protect your rights. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can help ensure that justice is served and that you receive the compensation you deserve.”
How to Negotiate With Car Insurance Companies After an Accident
After a car accident, negotiating with insurance companies comes with the territory. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what to do, so they end up being taken advantage of by the insurance companies. We don’t want this to happen to you.
Let’s explore several helpful tips that will allow you to negotiate strategically and get the results you want.
- Document Evidence
The foundation of a successful negotiation with insurance companies lies in thorough documentation. From the moment the accident occurs, gather as much evidence as possible.
Take photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and any visible injuries. Collect witness statements, police reports, and medical records to support your claim.
This documentation serves as crucial evidence to substantiate your case during negotiations. The more evidence you gather, the stronger your position will be when presenting your claim to the insurance company.
- Understand Policy Coverage
Familiarize yourself with the details of your insurance policy. Understand what is covered, the limits of coverage, and any applicable deductibles. Knowing the specifics of your policy empowers you to negotiate from a position of knowledge.
Take note of your policy’s provisions related to collision coverage, liability limits, medical payments, and any additional coverages that might be relevant to your situation. This understanding will help you assess the insurance company’s offers accurately and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to under your policy.
- Hire an Attorney
You have the ability to represent yourself and speak directly with insurance companies about your claim. However, in complicated situations – or even simple situations where there are a lot of medical bills or damages involved – you’re better off getting some help.
“When an insurance company receives a claim for an injury, they do not simply roll over and pay out any amount that the injured person wants,” Parham Smith & Arcenhold explains. “Instead, thorough investigations take place. These companies have the resources necessary to look out for their best interests financially, which is why any injured individual should have the same level of legal representation.”
A good attorney is someone who specializes in car accident claims, has an extensive track record of successful negotiations with car insurance companies, and has been in your local area for a number of years. You want someone you can trust and depend on throughout this case, no matter how many twists and turns it might take.
- Stay Composed During Discussions
Negotiations with insurance adjusters can be intimidating, but maintaining composure is crucial. Be respectful and avoid being confrontational during discussions. Stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be misconstrued as accepting liability.
Remain firm in advocating for fair compensation but avoid making rash decisions out of frustration. Take your time to review offers and consult with professionals, such as legal advisors or trusted experts, before accepting or rejecting any settlement offers.
As a general rule of thumb, an insurance company’s first settlement offer might only be worth 25 to 50 percent of the full value. This is why you should always reject the first offer and work with your attorney to negotiate back and forth.
- Value Your Claim Accurately
Accurately valuing your claim is critically important for a successful negotiation. Consider all the damages incurred, including vehicle repairs, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation costs. Gather estimates from reputable auto repair shops and medical professionals to substantiate your claim.
Don’t undervalue your losses. Consider the long-term implications of the accident, including potential future medical treatments or the impact of injuries on your quality of life. Presenting a well-documented and accurately valued claim increases your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
Negotiate With a Strategy
Remember, insurance wants to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible. However, armed with proper documentation, knowledge of your policy, a composed demeanor, and an accurately valued claim, you’ll be better positioned to negotiate effectively and secure a fair settlement.
Sugarcoating this process won’t do anything good for you. The reality is that it’s you versus the insurance companies. If you choose to plug your ears and pretend that nothing is happening, you will get the raw end of this deal. However, if you fight back with the assistance of an attorney who has a good strategy, you’ll put the insurance companies on their heels and force them to give ground.
As a result, you’ll likely get a much more fair settlement.
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