When you are injured in an accident, it’s important to focus on healing and recovery. However, the bills start piling up quickly, and it may feel like you can’t get ahead. You may be tempted to take out a loan or to put expenses on your credit card. But there are other ways to get the money you need without taking on more debt, it may take some research, planning, and back and forth negotiations but if you are ready to put in the time and effort, make sure that you have enough patience for this process.
Understand the different types of personal injury damage
The first step to getting the financial help that you need is to understand what types of damages you can ask for in your case. Make sure to book a consultation with a Douglasville lawyer dealing with personal injuries who will help you understand the different types of damages that are available to you. The next step is to figure out how insurance companies count money, and what they mean when they talk about “full compensation.” If your injury is severe, it’s possible that your insurer will immediately offer full compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. This means that an insurer has calculated all of your medical bills, lost income (both past and future), property damage (including pain and suffering) and other expenses due to your accident. Once you receive this information in writing from an insurer, it’s a good idea to check the calculations with your attorney and with a local accountant. If your injury isn’t as severe and it’s unlikely that you will receive full compensation, then you can consider putting some expenses on a credit card or line of credit, and paying them off over time.
Types of damage
Once you understand what types of damages are available to you, make sure to discuss them with your attorney. There are three different categories of damages, and they all work differently.
These damages go toward covering immediate expenses like medical bills and lost wages. They may also cover additional costs like replacing a rental car if your vehicle was damaged in the accident.
This category covers any increased expenses that last long after the accident itself, such as future medical care or travel costs to get to doctor’s appointments. It can also include damage claims for pain and suffering or emotional distress resulting from an accident.
In cases where it’s clear that one party acted negligently but their actions didn’t cause direct or serious damage to you or your property, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish negligent parties and discourage others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
The next step is to start keeping track of your income and expenses, this will help your lawyer show the courts that you have a legitimate claim for these damages. If you don’t put all of your expenses into a spreadsheet or some other record-keeping system, it can be difficult for an insurer to verify that the expenses were connected with the injury. Keep in mind that most insurers have lawyers on staff who know how to look for inconsistencies in claims, so if they find even one mistake in your case, they may use it against you in court or refuse to payout at all.
Calculate your total damages
If you want the other party’s insurance company to pay all of your damages, it’s important that you don’t include any estimates or guesses in your calculations. If an insurer thinks that you are trying to get paid for expenses that weren’t really related to the accident, they will refuse to payout.
Once you have started keeping track of your cash flow and all of your expenses, make sure to consult with an accountant about how much income tax you need to pay on any money received from a personal injury settlement. If you don’t, there is a chance that an insurance company could seize this money from your claim because it counts as income. In most cases, this means that the entire amount would be counted towards taxes instead of just being applied to your damages.
Get an out-of-court settlement
If you are receiving good compensation for your injuries, but the other party’s insurance company is offering much less than you think you should be receiving, consider opting for an out-of-court settlement. This means that both parties agree on a specific amount in secret before going through any further legal procedures or court hearings.
An out-of-court settlement may involve one check from the insurer which covers all aspects of your claim, including future medical costs, pain, and suffering. If this happens, make sure to immediately deposit the check because it can be held for 30 days or more if either party involved decides to revoke their offer or process it at any point during negotiations.
Negotiate with the insurance company
Even if you don’t have a strong case, insurance companies still want to make deals because it saves them money. If you are offered an out-of-court settlement, take some time to think about it before signing anything with the insurer. You will often be presented with no more than one offer, so if it’s too little or much lower than what you were expecting, you can always contact the insurer and try to negotiate for better terms.
Other factors that affect your negotiation process include your age and health status. The older and sicker you are, the more likely that they won’t be able to find another client interested in taking on your case. If you are young, in good health, and have children to provide for, they might be more willing to offer a settlement that is closer to your true damages.
Don’t give away too much
When it comes to negotiating with the insurer, make sure that you never tell them how much money you need or what type of settlement you are looking for. This information could be used later on in court if an out-of-court deal can’t be reached.
No matter who offers you something first; always act like the only thing that matters is getting everything you deserve. Once you receive an offer or two, compare them against each other and see which one has the lowest time limit to take any action. A medical malpractice settlement claim will require you to accept the offer within a specific period of time; this is your chance to make your first counteroffer.
Settling with insurance companies can be difficult but well worth it if you are receiving fair compensation from the other party who was at fault for your injury. By taking these tips into consideration, you can be sure that you are receiving everything you deserve for your damages.