Although passengers and drivers injured by the negligence of other motorists can pursue a claim for compensation, the insurance claim and/or litigation process present a complicated path to recovery. If you are dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, several inaccurate assumptions based on myths promulgated by insurers could negatively impact the outcome of your injury claim. In this blog, we attempt to debunk these common misperceptions.
Myth 1: You can save money by settling directly with the insurance company rather than spending money on an attorney.
The other driver’s insurance adjuster might suggest that you do not need to retain an attorney because the insurer will determine the value of your claim and pay a fair settlement amount. Insurance company representatives handle a massive number of claims every year, so they know that they have an enormous advantage when dealing with the average accident victim who has little or no personal experience evaluating an accident injury claim. Insurance companies also rely on their enormous advantage in resources including teams of adjusters, lawyers, investigators, and other personnel along with virtually unlimited funds. Insurers frequently offer a settlement that barely covers current medical and repair expenses while disregarding future medical expenses, loss of the vehicle’s value, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other compensable forms of damages allowable under New York law. Several studies have indicated that individuals with attorneys tend to receive considerably more compensation when they have legal representation.
Myth 2: You are not entitled to significant compensation for pain and suffering or medical expenses because the accident caused minimal vehicle damage.
Vehicle damage does not necessarily correlate closely with the full value of a car accident injury claim. The materials used to build cars, trucks, and SUVs have durability far beyond the human body. Although manufacturers make vehicles that are designed to prevent catastrophic damage, the kinetic energy generated by a crash can still cause serious physical injuries to vehicle occupants.
Further, the process of assessing the value of a claim can involve a wealth of factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses and lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair/replacement costs
- Egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct (i.e., the at-fault party)
- Likeability of the plaintiff (the injury victim)
- Degree to which the plaintiff’s quality of life has been diminished
- Nature and extent of any disability or disfigurement
- Settlements and verdicts involving similar circumstance
While the factors that can impact the value of a claim include many considerations beyond those listed above, these factors illustrate the complex and subjective nature of the value of a claim. This complexity means that skill and experience in building a claim or lawsuit often significantly impact the amount of compensation received in a settlement or verdict.
If you endure injuries or the loss of a family member in a car accident, a seasoned New York accident injury attorney can analyze your potential claim and advise you about the best way to safeguard your legal rights.
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Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous drivers. For your free consultation, contact our Car Accident Law Firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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