DEALING WITH ANOTHER PARTY'S INSURANCE
You really need to consult with an attorney before you give a statement to the other party’s insurance company. It’s a really important part of the process, and it will be used against you should you say something that hurts your case, either as to how the incident happened or how your injuries have affected you. What you need to look at is why did the adjusters want to take your statement? The answer is to lock you down on your story. Do they really need to hear from you about how the wreck happened? Chances are no. They’ve probably already heard from their own driver as to how it happened if it’s a car wreck or their own business if it was a premises case.
FREE CASE REVIEW
IS FILING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM A RELATIVELY EASY PROCESS OR NOT?
A long time ago a lawyer much older and wiser than me explained to me the concept of the three-legged stool. For a stool to stand on its own, you have to have a minimum of three legs. If any of those three legs is missing, then the stool will fall over and not support the weight that you place upon it. The three legs of a stool necessary to have a viable personal injury claim are:
Liability, which is how it happened and why it’s someone else’s fault. This includes the carelessness or the violation of safety rules that caused the injury.
Damages, which is how it has impacted you and that’s where we talk about your injury, your medical expenses, your impairment, your lost wages, the way this has affected your personal life, your family and your work life.
The ability to pay, which is usually determined by the availability and the amount of insurance. The ability to pay leg generally depends on the level of insurance, how much of it there is or if there is a corporate payer. If you have your choice and you are going to get hit, you want to get hit by someone who has the ability to pay you. Truck wrecks have a tendency to result in larger settlements because they have larger insurance policies. If you are hit by someone with no insurance, then they likely don’t have the ability to pay you; you may have a million dollar loss, but that doesn’t mean you have a million dollar lawsuit against the person that caused you harm if he doesn’t have the ability to pay you. The damages kind of speak for themselves. You have to have damages in order to have a claim.
What I tell my clients is if you stop at a light and a drunk driver blows through the light going at 80 miles an hour and almost hits your car, you almost have a claim because you weren’t injured or you weren’t damaged and it hasn’t impacted your life. Finally, the liability, which is who is responsible for the rule violation or the fault that forces the other person to pay, is usually what we end up fighting about. How an incident happened is always the source of a lot of difference of opinion, depending upon whether you were the bad actor or the victim. Those are the three things that you have to look at; and if one of those legs of the stool is missing, weak or damaged, then that’s going to be the part of the case that the insurance company and the defense lawyer focus on to prove your claim is not liable.
For more information on Dealing With Insurance Companies, a Complimentary Strategy Session is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.