Personal Injury News & Developments

Articles Tagged with personal injury case

If you’ve been injured in an accident or due to another person’s negligence and the responsible party’s insurance contacts you for details about the incident, your first thought may be that the insurance company is trying to be helpful. The duty of a claims adjuster is to limit the amount of money for which the insurance company is liable— not to offer you a fair settlement.

Many claims adjusters will ask that these phone interviews be recorded for quality control, but they are really making an attempt to gather evidence that can be used to excuse their company from liability. Always speak to a reputable injury attorney before communicating with any insurance company about your injury case in order to protect yourself from being caught in this trap.

Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement

If an insurance company specifically asks to record your conversation, you have the right to refuse. Most people believe that it is standard procedure and that in order to have a conversation with a claims adjuster, it must be recorded. The insurance company must obtain your permission to record the call, however, and you are not obligated to give it.

There are many ways that insurance companies are able to dodge responsibility in court and the information that they collect from you is for the sole purpose of finding a fault or flaw in your case. If you were in a car accident, for example, the insurance company may ask for details about your speed, the direction you were traveling, the location of the accident and other details that you may appear to be minor. These questions are typically used in order to determine fault and the insurance company may use your own recorded answers to argue that their client was not at fault for the accident.

Recorded Statements are not Required, Regardless of what you are told

If you turn down an adjuster’s request to record your conversation, you may be told that a recorded statement is required per the policy. Always speak with your injury lawyer prior to giving a recorded statement and if an insurance company pressures you and demands that you provide one, wait to do so until you after have spoken with your attorney. Your attorney will go over all of the information that the insurance company may be looking for and how to give a statement without damaging your case.

Unintentional Errors in Recollection

If you ever find yourself in doubt about how to respond to an insurance company, it is always best to postpone your statement until you have had time to consult with your counsel on the matter. Insurance companies want you to give a statement as soon as possible in order to try to catch you in a mistake. You may unintentionally provide inaccurate information about your injury as you attempt to recall all of the details that the insurance company asks for. For this reason, you want to review what happened with your attorney first and piece together the incident before an insurance company takes a statement.

Keep in mind that you are unable to take back anything that you have said when the statement has been recorded. You may realize after the fact that things did not actually unfold in the manner that you described. It is possible that you may forget some critical details about your case while you are giving your statement and without those details in your statement, the insurance company may build a case that exonerates them from all responsibility.

The Role Of An Attorney & Counselor In A Personal Injury Case

Knowing your rights is important and most people fall into the trap set for them by insurance companies because they are unaware of their right to refuse a recorded statement. Before you speak to anyone about your injuries, always discuss your case with a qualified injury attorney. Doing so can make a huge difference in winning your case and in determining the amount of damages that you are entitled to compensation for.

There are a lot of things that you need to do in order to help prepare your personal injury case as well as things that you should avoid at all costs. If you review your case with an injury lawyer, he or she will probably ask you to provide specific information and avoid issuing any statements to anyone without preparation. Everything that you do and say following your accident can be used to build your case or to tear it down. Before you proceed with your case, be sure to collect the following information and avoid the common pitfalls that harm many peoples’ injury cases.

What to Do in Order to Support your Case

Make sure that you get pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries and any damage done to your property, as in an automobile accident. These pictures will not only be useful in proving fault, but in establishing the severity your injuries and the amount of damage done to your property so that an accurate claim can be calculated. Make sure that you get the medical treatment that you need and no more so that you do not risk needing to pay additional costs that are not substantiated in your claim.

Waiting to file a lawsuit is almost always a bad idea because it allows the defense more time to build a case against you and it poses the risk that you will not be able to file before the statute of limitations runs out. It takes time to build a case and a lot of investigative work needs to be done in order to collect evidence and data before your case is ready to take to court. Preparing your case sooner rather than later also allows your attorney the opportunity to negotiate a settlement beforehand which you can accept or reject.

What Not to Do

It is extremely important that you do not lie about any detail of your case under any circumstance. It may be beneficial to limit the amount of information that you offer, but it will hurt the credibility of your case if you are caught in a lie. If an insurance company asks for your medical history, you have the right to deny them access but you should not lie about whether you have been injured in the past. Rather than being caught in a lie, the appropriate action is not to comment or share the details about your history and choose to focus on the details of the injuries that you sustained during your accident.

Avoid giving recorded statements to insurance companies or allowing them to examine you with their own doctors. The sole purpose of insurance companies requesting these things is to gather their own evidence that they can use against you. Do not help them build their defense by providing them access to past medical records, allowing them to examine you or giving a recorded statement before you’ve consulted with legal counsel.

The Value of Your Case

Every personal injury case is unique and different factors affect the value of the case, such as whether or not the at-fault party was negligent, whether punitive damages can be collected and the value of any pain and suffering. The best way to determine the value of your case and what amount of compensation to seek is to discuss your case with a knowledgeable injury lawyer who has experience representing injured clients and collecting damages on their behalf. Such experience is useful in determining the value of your case because your attorney would know what to expect from your case and how best to proceed.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers recently settled a personal injury case case involving a child who sustained deep laceration to the roof of her mouth that resulted from a piece of glass that was on her pizza.

The scary ordeal occurred at a well known when the girl and her family went out for dinner at a well-known pizza chain.  After taking her first bite of pizza, our client  received severe lacerations to the roof of her mouth.  After spitting out the pizza, her parents were shocked to see a large chard of clear glass.

An emergency room physician used stitches to close the wound and stop the bleed caused from the laceration and an oral surgeon  removed the stitches several weeks later.

While not necessarily an instinctive reaction, the girls parents remembered to save the pizza— and the shard of glass— which proved important during settlement discussions with the insurance carrier.

The proceeds from this personal injury settlement will be held in an interest bearing account for the child’s benefit until she reaches the age of majority at which time she will have full access to the settlement proceeds.