No, insurance companies do not have to automatically compensate accident victims for pain and suffering. In fact, they have no responsibility to track down victims and pay their bills at all.
Victims are responsible for documenting the expenses they incur from an accident and proving that the insurance company is responsible for those damages.
Negotiating pain and suffering compensation can be quite challenging because there is no proof of a specific amount of money the victim incurred due to the accident. This is where an Indiana personal injury attorney comes in and is highly valuable in pursuing the maximum compensation following an accident.
Insurance Claims Process
To understand when and how to negotiate pain and suffering compensation, you must first know the insurance claims process.
- Open a claim with the insurance company. It’s best to have your lawyer present during all discussions with the insurance company to prevent saying the wrong thing and harming your claim.
- Undergo the necessary medical treatment. You should follow your doctor’s recommendations as closely as possible to ensure complete healing and proper injury documentation.
- Submit a demand package in conjunction with your attorney. This will detail your injuries, expenses, and pain and suffering endured.
- Negotiations then begin between you and the insurance company as you seek a fair compensation amount that you can agree upon. This process can be challenging because you’ll be negotiating with the insurance company’s attorney. If you don’t have an attorney, the insurance company might try to talk you down and provide a lower settlement amount than you deserve.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
One of the complicated aspects of pursuing pain and suffering compensation is that there is no set way of calculating this compensation. Additionally, if you don’t have legal representation, the insurance company will tell you the way you’ve calculated pain and suffering is far too high for your specific circumstances.
Personal injury attorneys have worked on hundreds of cases and reviewed thousands of cases to know how the courts rule and what is considered fair in the eyes of the law. Their expertise is invaluable in recovering financially from an accident.
Many factors will contribute to the number your attorney recommends for pain and suffering, including:
- Type of injury
- Injury severity
- Injury location
- Recovery timeline
- Impacts to your personal life
- Medical care required to recover
What Is a Settlement?
Settlements are the preferred method for resolving personal injury cases. Settlements are out-of-court agreements between injury victims and the at-fault party for the injury. Reaching a settlement is often faster and less expensive than taking a case to court, which is why it is the preferred method for closing a personal injury claim.
But settlements require back and forth negotiations with the insurance company and an understanding of how to use evidence to prove the value of your claim. Negotiation requires expertise, and if you aren’t careful, you can say or do the wrong thing during this process and jeopardize your case.
Hiring an attorney is the best way to protect your claim and ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries.
Role of an Attorney in Personal Injury Cases
An attorney will work with you to document your injuries and expenses to ensure the best possible outcome for your personal injury case. The best-case scenario is that you make a full physical recovery and cover all expenses, including missed work, time, and gas to and from medical appointments.
You’ve suffered a huge inconvenience due to someone else’s negligence. You should not have to live with that long-term. Discuss your case with a qualified attorney from Stewart & Stewart as soon as possible to get your case moving toward a fair resolution.