What Role Does Insurance Play In Terms of Settling Personal Injury Claims?
You and your personal injury lawyer will be negotiating with insurance companies (whether it’s your own or the defendant’s!) This is especially true of car accidents since the law requires both parties involved to exchange vital insurance information at the accident scene. Insurance is also heavily involved (though maybe not as much) in other types of personal injury cases like medical malpractice ones. Given this reality, you need to know how insurance influences the course and affects the outcome of a personal injury case.
Will your personal injury be covered by insurance?
Your personal injury lawyer in Redondo Beach will tell you that the extent and quality of the defendant’s insurance policy will play a large role in determining if you receive a settlement in court and what its amount will be. If the defendant has a cheap auto insurance policy with low coverage limits, your settlement may be very low and may even be close to nonexistent!
You and your personal injury lawyer need to remember the following with regards to the defendant’s insurance coverage and the final outcome and amount of your settlement:
● If you are ever involved in a car accident, you need to ask yourself if the driver who hit you is insured.
● If you are hurt on a property by a slip and fall accident, you need to know if the owner has liability insurance that will cover and pay for your injuries
● If a dog bites you (though extremely rare, they do happen), you need to ask if the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will cover your medical treatment and other related expenses.
How does the coverage amount affect your personal injury claim?
This is important if you are ever involved in a car accident since they can be of varying degrees of severity and can cause varying degrees of bodily injury and property damage to you. For example, if you were involved in a fender bender and you suffered a sprained ankle (soft tissue damage), expect an extremely low offer from the defendant’s insurance company.If on the other hand, your car is totaled and you break your back, you can expect to receive a settlement quickly because the insurance adjuster knows that even a very small settlement award from the judge and jury may exhaust the insurance company’s funds quickly.
However, don’t expect this to be the case if the defendant has a rich insurance policy with high coverage limits. This is because the adjuster has money to stall the case and doesn’t want his or her employer to pay you any more than is absolutely necessary from the standpoint of the insurance company.
What happens if you have to settle with your own insurance company?
You need to know what your ‘first party’ insurance coverage is in the event that you are involved in a personal injury accident that was caused by a person with no insurance. This is generally represented in the form of comprehensive coverage, uninsured, or underinsured motorist coverages. You can file a claim under your ‘uninsured motorist coverage’ if the defendant is not insured. Your insurance company will treat the claim the same way that the defendant’s insurance company would have (if he or she had insurance).
Of course, the defendant could have only liability coverage. The problem arises if the coverage limits are very low and not enough to cover your bills. You could then turn to your ‘underinsured motorist coverage’ to ‘fill in the gaps!’