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Personal injury claims and proper recovery expectations

Author: Saam Banai
Published: Apr 17 2013

Unfortunately, there are going to be times in everyone's life when they experience mishaps that lead to serious injuries. These injuries often lead to medical bills, lost time at work, and sometimes, even loss of life. Sadly, there are times when these accidents happen due to a person's own mistakes, and they're usually left without any recourse. There are other times, however, when the negligent actions of another party cause these accidents. In such cases, a person should weigh all information to decide what their next steps should be.

Personal Injury Claims

When To File A Personal Injury Claim

The simple fact is that anyone involved in an accident that results in serious injuries should immediately seek to file a personal injury claim. Auto accidents that simply lead to property damage are often much easier to handle; insurers usually just decide how much the damages are worth and that amount is then paid. With personal injuries, however, some factors, such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering, are open to interpretation. Because of this, insurers will usually look to pay the least compensation possible.

It's always important to wait and see what a settlement offer will be before filing a personal injury lawsuit. Although this is a good idea, it doesn't mean that a person shouldn't already have legal representation. This will usually cause insurers to play a bit more fairly and offer a just settlement in the first place without you ever having to go to court.

Typical Compensation

In reality, there is no "typical" compensation related to a personal injury case. There are numerous accidents that a person could experience, and each individual may sustain vastly different injuries of varying degrees. There is, however, a typical formula that insurers usually take into account when figuring out a settlement. They'll use the base "special damage," which is the medical costs incurred, for their calculations.

For people who don't have severe injuries or repercussions related to them, insurers will often pay 1.5 times the special damages in combination with any lost income. For injuries that are severe and end up costing much more than a financial loss (eg. pain and suffering), insurers usually offer five times the special damages and any lost income. When injuries are especially detrimental, however, and lead to extensive non-financial losses, insurers will sometimes pay out 10 times the special damages included with any income lost.

As previously mentioned, however, these settlements or rewards will vary immensely, especially if you have someone like a New York or Indianapolis personal injury attorney on your side. In addition, insurance companies are going to try to pay the least amount possible, so even the aforementioned percentages are likely over the top without proper legal representation.

Attorney vs No Attorney

Many people choose to represent themselves in a personal injury lawsuit. While this is definitely an option, an old adage really sums this option up: a person who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. Unfortunately, this is sometimes necessary during certain legal matters (ie. divorces) when financial issues hinder the ability to hire an attorney, but luckily, this often isn't the case during personal injury claims.

Most attorneys who handle personal injury cases work under the assumption that they'll get paid a certain percentage of whatever they recover. If nothing is recovered, then the attorneys aren't paid. This gives them special incentive to work for the largest settlement or award possible. Attorneys are also much more experienced and can thus get larger settlements, so any preconceived monetary savings earned from not hiring an attorney will quickly dissipate when a person doesn't receive fair compensation.

Sustaining a serious injury due to the neglectfulness of another party can be especially disheartening. This helpless feeling can get even worse when a person is facing serious financial losses due to the injury itself, and unfortunately, negligent parties and their insurers usually aren't the most forthcoming people in the world when it comes to compensating victims. This is why everyone should understand the appropriate time to file a personal injury claim and have an experienced legal professional at their side. This can literally make the difference between being stuck with huge bills or being able to heal with peace of mind.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he cares very much for safe physical and financial living. Randy Sevenish, Indianapolis personal injury attorney, is dedicated to protecting your rights and fighting for full compensation in the event that file a personal injury claim. With over 28 years of experience and a solid record of settlements and verdicts, he will do his best to help you recover from medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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