Last Update: 9/19/18
After any accident, the injury victim just wants to get better as soon as possible and move forward with life. There’s the pain and suffering and the physical recovery that can take days, months, and even longer. There’s the financial stress of lost wages and having to pay monthly bills while dealing with medical expenses and other health care costs.
People who have been hurt in an accident caused by someone’s negligence just want to file their claim for what is due them, get compensated, and put that chapter of their life behind them. Sadly, and often times, the position of the at-fault party and their insurance carrier is totally different. They’re in no hurry.
The result? The injury victim has no choice but to file a lawsuit in order to get the justice he or she, and their family, deserves.
Three Reasons Why Injury Victims Have to File a Lawsuit
1. Your Demand is Rejected Because of a Database
The insurance carrier may simply reject your request for damages because of the amount that has been demanded to settle the claim is too high. Insurance companies have full-time employees that collect, organize, and store all sorts of data about all sorts of accidents and their injuries. If your claim doesn’t come within their database-driven parameters, then the insurance company may decline payment of your claim without bothering to consider its unique, individual factors.
If your attorney cannot get the insurance company’s representative (i.e. adjuster) or the defense attorney hired by the insurance company to understand why your demand needs to be considered outside of their standardized quotas, then you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit to get a fair settlement.
2. Question of Fault
In many accidents, particularly car crashes, it may be that there is more than one reason that the accident occurred. For example, if you were rear-ended and suffered serious injuries, then at first glance the driver who slammed into your car seems to be 100% responsible for the crash. However, if the insurance company argues that you were driving without working brake lights, or you weren’t wearing a seat-belt, then they may argue you bear some responsibility for your own injuries. To force the company to pay, or to pay a fair amount, you have no choice but to file a lawsuit.
3. Are You Injured?
As part of your demand, your medical records and medical history will be provided to the other side to substantiate your damages claims. However, if after reviewing the documents, or doing their own investigation, the insurance company does not believe the extent of your injuries or they think your injuries are from a pre-existing condition, then they may deny your claim. They may argue:
1. You are faking and have not been hurt at all;
2. You were hurt, but not as badly as you are claiming (for instance, it’s not a permanent injury); or
3. You have a pre-existing condition that is the real cause of your problems, or is exacerbating your distress from the accident. (Note: Florida law recognizes that pre-existing conditions can be intensified or “aggravated” in an accident, and allows for compensation to be awarded to a victim.)
Sometimes, You Just Have to Sue
Remember, the position of the insurance company is to keep the payment to you as low as possible, so that the company profits stay as high as possible. If you won’t settle fast for the amount they have decided they would like to pay on your claim, then they may have a strategy of waiting you out or playing hardball with you, using their unequal bargaining power to their advantage.
Filing a lawsuit based upon your accident is stressful, but it may be vital to getting justice for you and your family. Having a Florida personal injury attorney who is experienced in the courtroom and who is known by the insurance companies to be willing to take cases to trial can be especially helpful in these situations.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been thinking about filing an injury claim, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.