While every case is different, here are some pointers to keep in mind. There are factors which can increase the value of your case, and there are factors which can decrease the value of your case. There are things you can do which increase the chances of making a good recovery, and there are things you can do which can lower your recovery. For specifics on the actions you should take consult with a Oak Lawn motorcycle accident attorney today.
If there is any dispute as to how the accident happened, this can lower the value of your case. If the other driver claims you were speeding, you failed to yield or were otherwise driving erratically, this can lower the value of a case. In fact, an insurance company may deny your claim and force you to go to court to make any recovery. Automobile drivers frequently blame motorcycle riders for contributing to an accident because they didn’t see them. They assume the motorcycle rider must have been speeding or driving erratically. Don’t let an insurance company blame you simply because you are riding a motorcycle if their insured driver caused the accident.
Notice we did not say that the value of your case is based on your injuries. An insurance adjuster has no way of knowing what your injuries are, only what medical treatment you had for those injuries. This is a crucial distinction in valuing personal injury cases. You can have serious injuries and experience a great deal of pain and recovery, but without medical treatment, your case will not be worth as much.
Insurance companies, as well as juries, figure that people who are hurt go to the doctor, and those who are not hurt do not seek medical attention. This may not always be true, but this impacts the value of a case. For this reason, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will always advise a client to continue to seek medical attention until they have made a complete recovery. Failure to seek medical attention is the largest single factor which lowers the value of your case.
Be sure to document any physical injuries you sustain with periodic photos. Take pictures of any cuts, lacerations, bruises, or “road rash” immediately after the accident. Continue to take photos to document the healing. If the injuries leave scars, it is important to document them. Often we will have a professional photographer take pictures of scars of our clients. A picture is worth a thousand words and good pictures can be worth many thousands of dollars. Don’t think that a photo from your phone will be as good as one taken by a professional photographer.
Let’s get something straight before you read on further. There is no “rule” that a case is worth three times your medical bills. This is a longstanding myth which bears no basis in reality. Now, the greater your medical bills, the greater your recovery. This is because the at-fault party is responsible for paying the full amount of your medical bills, not just your out of pocket costs. Logically, the higher your medical bills, the greater your recovery. However, there is no direct, mathematical formula to use in determining the value of your case.
Also, some types of bills increase the value of your case more than others. For example, if most of your medical bills are for diagnostic testing such as x-rays, MRIs, EMGs, etc., those types of bills do not lead to a large increase in value in your case. Medical bills for treatment, such as doctor’s visits, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment, increase the value of your case more than diagnostic bills.
Odds are this is the first time you have been in an accident and sustained personal injuries. You are doing the wise thing in learning as much as possible about your case. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we seek to educate our clients. Our website is designed to provide answers to commonly asked questions. However, our ability to evaluate the value of a personal injury case comes from years of experience and from representing thousands of clients. If it were so simple to know the value of an accident case, there would be no need for lawyers. The job of the insurance company claim adjuster is to pay as little as possible to settle a case. The goal of a personal injury attorney is to obtain the greatest recovery possible from the insurance company. In the middle is you, the injured person.
Many people in motorcycle accidents just want their medical bills paid and the money they lost from being off from work. There is nothing wrong with this and we will not attempt to persuade you otherwise. But it is important for you to know that you personally may be responsible for paying back your health insurance if they paid any of your medical bills. There may be doctors or hospitals who do not submit their bills to your health insurance and expect to be paid from the insurance settlement. These and other things can come back to bite you if you settle the case on your own. Of course, the insurance adjuster will not tell you of these things, they just want you to sign a release and settle your case. Accident claims are much more complicated than they appear.
We have tried to provide you with some valuable information in handling your accident case yourself. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to provide a value to your case by reading a few website articles. The single biggest factor in increasing your recovery in a personal injury case is by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. In our experience, even after paying our contingency attorney fee, our clients usually walk away with more money than they would have if they handled their case themselves. Remember, only you, the client, can settle your case.