If you have been injured in an accident, because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation from the insurance company of the party who caused the accident. Insurance companies, however, are like most businesses and are constantly focused on increasing their bottom line. For this reason, insurers will attempt to limit their liability whenever possible. Too often, a settlement offer from an insurance company will be substantially lower than necessary to cover the injured person’s medical bills, lost income from missed work, other injury-related losses, not to mention pain and suffering. Is there a secret to maximize recovery for an injury claim.
Yes, as personal injury lawyer it is my job to fight the insurer and get the best dollar recovery I can for my clients. How do we do this? A key tactic we use is the expert witness. A personal injury lawyer who understand what an insurance company will try to do to lower the value of an injury claim going in, can turn the odds in client’s favor is by getting them to the right expert for evaluation of their injury case. Having a personal injury lawyer who knows the game becomes very important – this alone can mean the difference between a couple of thousand dollar settlement to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How insurance companies try to reduce injury claims
Insurance companies try to reduce claims in several different ways, often times using one or more of the following tactics:
- Your injury was preexisting and did not result from the accident in question.
- Your injury occurred due to a later event and not due to the accident in question.
- Your injury and its effects are not as severe as you claim and certain treatments were unnecessary.
- Your injury should not have prevented you from missing work.
- You were partially at fault in causing the accident.
Ways to maximize your injury claim
Fortunately, there are ways to negotiate with an insurance company that has offered an inadequate settlement based on any of the above reasons. An experienced personal injury attorney has many tools to prove that you deserve more than the initial offer and one important tool is the use of expert witnesses. Expert witnesses can analyze your situation and present their findings to the insurer to demonstrate that you truly deserve the full amount of your claim. The following are some expert witnesses that are commonly used in personal injury matters:
- Medical professionals and specialists to testify to the nature, cause, and extent of your injuries and all treatments needed.
- Occupational specialists to analyze your work-related capabilities after your injuries.
- Accident reconstruction professionals to testify that the other party was negligent in causing the accident and that you did not contribute to the cause.
Expert witnesses can play a critical role in a personal injury claim as they can support your allegations regarding your injury-related losses so that you can receive the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. Though expert witnesses do get paid for their role in your case, their technical testimony can significantly increase your insurance award. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and advise you whether using an expert may be worth it in your case.
The team of experts we use, whether it be a doctor, engineer, an accident reconstructionist, economics or otherwise, are some of the most well-respected professionals in their field. Their evaluation of the claim, expert report that they write and often testimony at trial carry a great deal of weight and helps us maximize recovery for our personal injury clients.
How expert witnesses can help
Imagine that you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an auto collision caused by a driver who ran a red light. The driver’s insurance company is disputing much of your claim and makes a settlement offer that may not even cover a fraction of your losses. Expert witnesses may be able to help you in the following ways:
- A neurologist can testify to the extent of damage to your brain and the treatment needed to stabilize your injury, prevent complications, and help you recover from the injury. Additionally, a neurologist can address the many different effects that a TBI can have on your life and can bolster your claims that your difficulties are due to your injury.
- An occupational specialist can evaluate your challenges and capabilities in light of your brain injury and can support your claim that you could not work during recovery or that you are unable to earn the same living in the future.
- A psychiatrist or psychologist can address any emotional issues that may accompany a TBI after an accident, including depression, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.
These are only a few examples of experts that may be of significant assistance in a personal injury case. Many injured victims may not realize they have the option to use experts and other negotiation tools if a settlement is too low. You should always have an experienced personal injury lawyer evaluate the value of your case prior to accepting any offer from an insurance company. If you would like help in getting the maximum dollar value for your injury claim call the lawyers at KaplunMarx at (610) 660-7780.