Monday, January 28, 2008

Personal Injury Insights and Settlement Agreement

1.Personal Injury Insights

Remember, there’s nothing that has a greater impact on evaluating a personal injury insurance claim than the damage done to your body, the medical bills that are a direct result of that injury and the “pain and suffering” you were forced to deal with.

What else does the injury mean to you, besides botching up your body (and sometimes your love life)? Body injuries mean a ton of financial expense’s, including repairing your motor vehicle, lost wages, a shock to your life style, a tremendous inconvenience and short or long periods of pain and discomfort – all of it a direct result of your injuries.

Even more, there's a long list of possible medical expenses. For instance: Doctor/Chiropractor, Prescription Drug Bills, Ambulance, Emergency Room Care, Hospital or Clinic, Specialist and/or Dentist, Laboratory Fees and Services, Diagnostic Tests, X-Rays and (CT) Scan, Prosthetic Appliances or Surgical Apparatus (Canes & Crutches), Physical Therapy, Registered and/or Practical Nurse Fees, Gauze and Tape, Ace Bandages all of which the insurance company must pay whether they like it or not!

Do not forget about Creams, Lotions, Ointments, Balms and Salves, etc. (Should the lady in your life apply any of these to your aching body I'm sorry to tell you this but her labor is not an expense you can claim).
Your Bodily Injuries: It's true that the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents cause minor injuries. While bodily injury pain can be specifically measured the limits of what you can endure cannot. Each person has a different "pain threshold" – that is, the point at which we begin to feel physical pain. The quality and amount of pain you feel is not strictly dependent on the bodily injury inflicted. A pain has a lot to do with your previous experience, how well you remember it, and your ability to understand what caused you that pain, and its consequences, the last time around.

Strain and stress magnify physical pain plus personal anxiety will greatly increase it. Also do not forget about emotional reactions to the injury. Some degree of mental distress can be caused by a bodily injury. The severity and duration depends on a number of factors:
• the type of individual you are,
• the ultimate consequences of the injury you sustained,
• the life stresses or strengths you're experiencing at the time of your injury.

One thing you must keep in mind when it comes to muscle injuries is that when one part of the body demands rest (by sending out a pain signal) and – without your even realizing it – you help your body by placing a new burden on other muscles. Although those muscles may not have been directly injured in the accident, they can still get buggered up and produce a lot of pain because of their new role.

2.Settlement Agreement

Close to ninety-five percent of insurance claims conclude by reaching a settlement. It is important, however, that you not accept a premature or inadequate car accident settlement just to get some money quickly. You may very well regret it later. Take your time; in every state you have at least a year or more to settle your claim or file a lawsuit.

Care should be taken to come to a car accident insurance settlement that takes all reasonable future injury-related problems into consideration. Your physician should be consulted for information on your prognosis for recovery and any potential problems that could occur down the road. Then, armed with all pertinent information, and after negotiating with the claims adjuster either on your own or with the assistance of an attorney, you may be able to reach a settlement that is satisfactory to you. If you do, congratulations! Now how do you get the money? Not so fast!

Once you have settled your claim, the insurance company will want to make sure that you cannot come back to their insured later and sue for more money. They will, therefore, ask you to sign a form called a Release and Waiver. You want to be certain that the conditions on the waiver are reasonable, and that the money will be paid to you promptly. As with any legal document, it is important to have an car accident lawyer review it and advise you before you put your signature on it. After you sign it, it will be too late to question any of the conditions or terminology used.

Caution: As the releasing party, by settling your claim and signing the Release and Waiver, you are required to give up all known and unknown claims against the driver that caused the accident. This means, for example, that if your back pain from the accident suddenly makes a return appearance a year from now, you cannot go back and sue the other driver from the accident for additional compensation. Make sure you understand what you are signing and what will happen after you sign. An attorney will make certain that you are fully aware of your rights and what rights you are giving up by signing this document. That is why it is so important to seek legal counsel to assist you with this process.

Once you sign and return the Release and Waiver, the insurance company will send you either a bank draft or a certified check. At that point, the money is yours.