When personal injuries happen, it can leave you facing a mountain of expenses. Along with your current medical costs and lost wages, ongoing impairments could result in additional costs in the future. When filing a claim, it is important to realize that you have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover. Consider your options carefully to avoid accepting less than what you deserve.
Seeking Compensation Through an Insurance Settlement
If you are in any type of motor vehicle accident or suffer injuries on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation through the at-fault party’s insurer. This is typically the first step in attempting to resolve a claim. However, it is important to be aware of potential pitfalls. Insurance company representatives often try to convey that they are ‘on your side.’ The fact is they are a for-profit business and like any company, so protecting their bottom line is a top priority.
In surveys conducted by the American Association of Justice, even the top insurers receive low marks when it comes to resolving claims. There are three common tactics insurance representatives are likely to employ as a way of either denying or undervaluing your claim:
- Disputing whether the accident is covered;
- Disputing whether their client is to blame;
- Disputing the nature of your injuries and the amount of damage you suffered.
Beware of making statements to an insurer or accepting any settlements prior to getting legal counsel. It is not uncommon for insurers to attempt to resolve the case quickly before the full extent of your injuries and the costs involved are revealed.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
It can take weeks or even months for the doctor to determine the full extent of your injuries, the amount of medical care you are likely to require, or whether you will suffer any permanent disabilities as a result. Resolving your claim with an insurer too quickly could leave you paying significant out-of-pocket costs.
In many cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party is the best course of action and can entitle you to additional amounts you would not be entitled to through an insurer. Under the Florida Statutes, these may include:
- Economic damages: These not only cover your current medical expenses and lost wages, but also any estimated future costs you are likely to incur.
- Non-economic damages: These cover the pain and suffering your accident or injuries caused, as well as any loss of enjoyment in life you suffer as a result of ongoing impairments.
- Punitive damages: This is an additional amount ordered by the judge designed to punish the at-fault party for conduct that was particularly willful and negligent.
Contact Our Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney Today
At the Bernardo Law Firm, our goal is to get you the maximum amount you need to recover when personal injuries occur. To find out how we can help you, call or contact our Fort Myers personal injury attorney online and request a consultation today.