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How to Settle a Personal Injury Claim with an Insurance Adjuster

31st May 2011
By ncdf001 in Legal
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In the event of a sustained injury as a result of an automobile collision, in which you are not at fault, many questions undoubtedly befog the mind as to how to resolve the pending injury claim. This article will focus on settling a bodily injury claim with an insurance adjuster as opposed to hiring an attorney to settle on your behalf.

We must first consider the lost wages that may have accrued due to an inability to work from injury. In order to independently request coverage for such loss, meticulous record keeping is very necessary. Record in a journal the date of the accident and the beginning date of being out of work up to the date in which you returned to work. Insurance claim fraud and exaggeration of damages in order to profit from an insurance company require you to present to the insurance adjuster as sound, established, and most credible. To add credibility in the eyes of the insurance adjuster of you and your claim, it is a good practice to have a journal with records of your accident date, days of missed work, and your return to work date.

Oftentimes the days in which a person misses from work due to an automobile accident are monitored for consistency with medical bills submitted, nature of the bodily injury claimed, and the extent of property damage. This brings us to our second area of interest which is medical bills. A large portion of a claims settlement is focused on the amount of medical bills due to the accident. Again, whether you had to buy gauze for a cut or had to pay an emergency room bill, proper record keeping ensures success in painting the picture to the adjuster that you are trustworthy in presenting your claim for damages. Be sure to track the providers seen and the dates in which you saw them in your journal. When it comes time to gather receipts and bills this record will help to verify any overlooked medical care.

Inconveniences often apply as most often claimants are prohibited from reaching a destination, making a payment, picking up a child, or taking an afternoon stroll due to the automobile accident. In the event that you are inconvenienced from previously scheduled obligations, make note of this also in your journal. They too can be factored in to the pain and suffering settlement.

In considering the amount of money that would be acceptable to relent and lead life as if the automobile accident had not ever occurred, one should keep in mind that there is no set formula. Many opt to multiplying the medical bills by two, pricing a desired electronic gadget or furniture, checking out the cost of airfare for a paid vacation, or requesting the policy limits when their damages do not warrant such a pay out. You see, the name of the game is indemnification. Insurance companies are not out to profit you because their policyholder caused you pain and inconvenience. Insurance companies will indemnify you which means to put you like you were before the accident. This is viewed as unfair by victims involved in an automobile accident. While that frustration is understandable, let us focus on the more important issues.

Resolving an automobile bodily injury claim without an attorney is most difficult when it comes down to how much will be allotted for pain and suffering. We should look at permanency of injury, property damage, lost wages, incurred medical bills, whether punitive damages apply (drinking, drugs, hit-and-run) and the nature of the impact.

It will be highly unlikely to claim two weeks of lost wages and $1500 for pain and suffering if involved in a low impact with minor damages to your automobile and only an emergency room visit. Rather, collecting medical expenses, having photographs of the damage and the amounts of the repair, and knowing all other inconveniences due to the accident allows us to intelligently communicate to the insurance adjuster our needs and requests based upon solid information rather that a notion to get a down payment on a Lexus.

After carefully assessing wages, medical expenses, injury, property damages, and all other inconveniences related to the collision, sit and put a monetary figure for settlement together that is fair enough to cover expenses for medical services, lost wages, property damages, plus all other inconveniences. Communicate such to the adjuster and be willing to negotiate with the adjuster. Allow the adjuster to explain why your offer is too high when you have presented all the bills, photos of the damage, a lost wage claim, plus. Have it explained where you are embellishing the claim. You are very credible when you have the accident-related information on hand and a good grasp on what you want from the insurance company in order to release their policyholder from all damages. In such cases the insurance company will try to work with you towards settlement. They know which counties are more inclined to being liturgical and when it is in their best interest to settle rather than to delay or drive a claimant to an attorney for settlement instead.

Now many exceptions apply in settling a claim without an attorney. Large losses which include fatalities or utter destruction of property are usually attorney material. This is not an attempt to provide legal advice, but merely a knowledge based account on strategies to be successful should you wish to settle a bodily injury claim without an attorney. Furthermore, in some states and with certain insurance companies bodily injury and property damage of the automobile are handled separately. However, do factor in the impact, the appearance of the damage, and the total expense in repairs when negotiating a bodily injury settlement. Lastly, some companies will offer a scheduled settlement. These resolutions allow claimants to settle for their pain and suffering or inconvenience pay up front and have related and reasonable medical expenses covered for some time afterwards (even years maybe). Depending upon the nature of your injury this can be a viable option as the stress and worry of a claim will be put to rest as you accept a monetary settlement for bodily injury, yet have access to covered medical treatment relating to the automobile accident injury.

Attorneys do great services for millions around the world. We know that for their great service they are properly compensated. To avoid paying an attorney on top of medical bills, it would behoove you to apply these practical suggestions or tips. In review, strategies to settling a bodily injury claim without an attorney include: thorough record keeping of bills, wages, inconveniences, property damages, and bearing in mind that you are to be indemnified and not increased.

This author worked five years for a major insurance company settling personal injury claims. This article was also inspired by this website:

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