Settling a personal injury claim with the insurance company might be a quick way to get yourself the compensation you need. However, it can be difficult to know what a good settlement looks like. Negotiating with an insurance company can also be a huge hassle, especially if you are dealing with serious injuries.
To properly settle a personal injury claim with the insurance company, you should work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can advise you on what your case should be worth, deal with negotiations with the insurance company, and help advise you on whether or not a settlement is fair. If the insurance company is not willing to settle at a fair value, we can take them to court instead.
For help with an injury case, call the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769. We offer free case reviews.
How Much Should My Settlement Be Worth?
Before you settle, you should know how much your case is worth. That way you have some numbers to compare the settlement offers too. If the insurance company’s offer is lower than your case is worth, it might not be a good idea to settle. Generally speaking, it is best to have one of our New York personal injury lawyers review your case and help you calculate damages instead of doing this on your own.
What Damages Are Included?
In a lawsuit for injuries, you can typically recover the cost of any medical bills related to the accident, any wages or earning capacity you lost because of the accident, and damages for your pain and suffering. Insurance companies may pay some or all of these damages.
There are also other economic damages you can often claim, such as the cost of household services you cannot perform while recovering, alternate transportation needs after a car accident, or the cost of childcare while you are in the hospital.
Getting all of these damages covered in your settlement is important, but insurance companies are not always willing to provide these damages. Some policies, such as no-fault car accident insurance, do not cover pain and suffering damages. Many first-party insurance claims (where you file with your own insurance rather than another party’s insurance) require deductibles and pay only a percentage of the full damages you faced, further lowering how much your insurance settlement could possibly pay.
In some cases, the only way to get the rest of your damages paid in full is to reject a settlement and file a lawsuit instead.
To calculate the full value of your damages, you should total up any bills you faced because of the accident. On top of that, add any wages you missed by looking at your average weekly wages and calculating how much you missed per day. If your injuries will keep you from going back to work or will require you to take a less-intensive job going forward, it can be harder to calculate the economic effects of your injuries, and you will likely need your lawyer to hire a financial expert to evaluate these damages.
Calculating pain and suffering is also difficult. You often need to compare your case to other similar cases and the awards given in those cases. However, pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are also very personal, so it is important to work with a Jersey City personal injury lawyer to go over the facts of your case to help determine what your specific pain and suffering damages are worth.
Negotiating a Settlement with Insurance in New Jersey
The process of negotiating a settlement with the insurance company is often best handled by a professional. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer like those at Legal Care New Jersey can examine the facts of your case, assemble the evidence needed to convince an insurance company of your case’s value, and put their negotiating experience to use in talks with your insurance company. Overall, the process looks a bit like this:
File an Insurance Claim
To get the insurance company to discuss your case, you first need to file a claim. Our attorneys can help make sure that you provide all relevant evidence and information to help support your claim. Many claims are denied or lead to low-value settlements because of missing information.
Receive an Offer
The insurance company will eventually get back to you with a potential offer. You can accept this money now and be done with your case – but then you will typically be unable to claim additional damages later. If this initial settlement offer is too low, you should not accept it, and instead, negotiate with the insurance company. Ideally, further negotiations will be done through your legal counsel.
Reject the Offer and Appeal
Saying no to a check can be difficult, especially if you are in need of money after a serious injury that keeps you from work. However, part of negotiations with an insurance company will involve rejecting their initial offer and appealing your claim to the insurance company. Through this process, you might be able to submit additional evidence of damages and discuss your case more directly with an insurance adjuster to get additional damages.
In some cases, insurance adjusters are authorized to pay more to get claims settled. If the claim cannot be settled at an appropriate value, you should consider taking your case to court with the help of our experienced Edison personal injury attorneys.
Can I Sue the Insurance Company for Unfair or Bad-Faith Negotiations in New Jersey?
In many cases, your own insurance company could be the one denying your claim. If you are having trouble getting damages from your own insurance company and you believe that they are violating the terms of your insurance policy or acting in bad faith, you should contact a lawyer. Bad-faith insurance claims are often identified by unnecessary delays, canceled policies, “lost” claims, and claims closed without your knowledge. For help getting damages from the insurance company when they are acting in bad faith, call our Lakewood personal injury lawyers right away.
Call Our NJ Personal Injury Attorney for Help with a Settlement Today
Our Paterson personal injury lawyers offer free case reviews to help you understand what your case is worth and whether a settlement is appropriate for your needs. For a free case review, call New Jersey Legal Care today at (732) 838-9769.