Side-impact accidents, also known as T-bone collisions, are some of the most serious traffic accidents in Omaha. If you get into a side-impact accident, it is important to take certain steps to protect your rights and build an insurance claim that is as strong as possible against the at-fault driver. You may be eligible for financial compensation depending on the circumstances of your accident.
The law in Nebraska requires you to report any car accident that results in bodily injuries, deaths or at least $1,000 worth of property damage to any one person. Calling the police from the scene of your side-impact accident can do more than just fulfill your legal responsibilities as a driver, however. Getting the police to the scene can create an official report that documents your accident in detail.
When the police arrive, give them your version of what happened during the collision. Do not admit fault for the accident. The police can investigate the other driver for signs of fault, such as driving while under the influence, speeding or failing to stop at a red light.
If the other driver receives a citation or gets arrested for a broken law, this could help you prove that he or she caused the accident. Wait to answer questions about your injuries until you have seen a doctor. Write down your police report number before you leave.
If you can, start preserving and collecting evidence while still at the scene of the side-impact accident. Look for evidence of the other driver’s fault, such as food wrappers in the front seat of his or her car. Take pictures and videos using your smartphone, if possible. Write down everything you remember about the car accident while the memories are still fresh.
If you are too seriously injured to collect evidence yourself, ask a trusted friend or family member to do so for you. You can also count on the police to investigate the scene of the accident and gather available evidence, such as taking official photographs of the scene of the T-bone collision and speaking to eyewitnesses for statements.
Go to a Hospital
Side-impact accidents have a significant chance of causing serious bodily injuries to victims. The dynamics of these accidents can lead to severe or catastrophic physical injuries, especially if a smaller vehicle is struck by a large truck or bus. Some of the most common injuries suffered in side-impact crashes are:
- Concussions and other brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Broken ribs and chest injuries
- Lower extremity and knee injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Herniated disks
- Internal organ injuries
Go to a hospital in Omaha immediately for treatment for your car accident injuries. Prompt medical care is critical for your physical recovery. It can also improve the chances of a successful insurance claim, as the other driver’s insurance provider will want to see proof that you saw a doctor, received an official injury diagnosis and are following your treatment plan.
File an Insurance Claim
In the aftermath of a side-impact accident, gather information and documents related to the collision. Once you feel adequately prepared, contact the insurance company of the other driver to file your claim. Nebraska is a tort, or at-fault, insurance state. This means the driver guilty of causing your collision will be financially responsible for your losses. You will file your claim with this party’s insurance carrier.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Omaha, NE
If you are entitled to financial damages from a side-impact collision, consult with an attorney for assistance with the claims process. The other driver’s insurance company may try to take advantage of you or devalue your losses. A lawyer can pursue the compensation you deserve while you focus on your recovery.
Posted in Accident Information on March 5, 2021
The spinal cord is a critically important part of the body. It carries messages between the body and the brain and is responsible for movement, function and feeling. The spinal cord can sustain serious damage in an accident such as a car crash, fall or sports incident. The symptoms experienced and the patient’s prognosis will depend on the type of spinal cord injury suffered.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
An incomplete spinal cord injury is one that only partially, not fully, interferes with the spinal cord’s ability to convey messages to and from the brain. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, the messaging system is not completely damaged. Instead, some of the nerves remain intact. The victim may still retain some feeling and function below the point of injury that may improve over time with treatment.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A complete spinal cord injury describes damage to the spine that completely eliminates the spinal cord’s ability to transfer messages to and from the brain. With a complete spinal cord injury, the victim will most likely lose all motor and sensory function below the level of injury. Although physical therapy and rehabilitation can improve a patient’s prognosis, it is not possible to fully recover from a complete spinal cord injury.
A spinal concussion is a spinal cord injury that will typically heal in a matter of days. It describes blunt force trauma to the spine. The most common victims of spinal concussions are football players. The symptoms of spinal compression may include tingling, numbness and burning in the extremities (neurological symptoms) for a few days.
Spinal Cord Fracture
A spinal cord fracture is a serious injury that describes a break or crack in one or more of the bones that make up the spinal column (vertebrae). A spinal cord fracture can cause severe or chronic pain, as well as an incomplete spinal cord injury with neurological symptoms.
If the spine is completely severed in an accident, this type of fracture can cause a complete spinal cord injury with paralysis. A severe fracture to the wrong part of the back, such as the cervical spine, could be deadly.
Four Levels of Spinal Cord Injury
When diagnosing a spinal cord injury, a physician will reference the part of the spine damaged. This is an important distinction, as different parts of the spine are responsible for controlling different parts of the body. The spinal cord is divided into four main regions:
- The top eight vertebrae of the spine (C1-C8). Injuries to the cervical spine can cause quadriplegia, or paralysis in all four limbs and the trunk.
- The thoracic spine is comprised of 12 vertebrae (T1-T12) that control the bottom half of the body. An injury here can cause paraplegia.
- L1 through L5 are the five vertebrae that make up the lumbar spine. Injuries to the lumbar spine can cause weakness or paralysis in the legs, as well as loss of bowel or bladder control.
- The bottom five vertebrae (S1-S5) are the sacral spine region. An injury to this part of the spine can cause weakness or paralysis in the legs, sexual dysfunction, and loss of bowel/bladder control.
Most spinal cord injuries affect the body from the level of injury down. Each case is unique, however, with different prognoses for each patient based on the specific type of damage and injury.
Other Types of Back Injuries
The spinal cord is a complex organ with thousands of nerves that can suffer different types of injuries in accidents. Other common types of spinal cord injuries include:
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Muscle strains or sprains
- Slipped disks
- Herniated or burst disks
If you suffer any type of spinal cord injury in an accident in Omaha, consult with a spinal cord injury lawyer for assistance. You may be eligible for compensation.
When someone dies as a result of the neglect or misconduct of another party, the victim’s surviving family members can file a claim for wrongful death. In Nebraska, this is a type of lawsuit available to compensate survivors for their tangible and intangible losses.
Wrongful death is a complicated practice area. The best way to find out if your family has grounds for this type of claim is by consulting with a wrongful death attorney.
Nebraska’s Legal Definition of Wrongful Death
Although each state technically has its own definition of wrongful death, most are similar in the language they use. According to Nebraska Revised Statute section 30-809, wrongful death is the death of a person (including a child in utero) caused by the neglect, wrongful act or default of any person, company or corporation. The statute goes on to say that if the act would have entitled the injured person to file an action to recover damages had death not ensued, the defendant is liable in an action for wrongful death damages.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death does not have to be caused by deliberate wrongdoing, criminal action or intent to take someone’s life. Although some wrongful death cases result from criminal acts, such as first-degree murder, unintentional negligence or carelessness is enough to hold someone civilly liable for a fatal injury in Nebraska.
Some of the most common accidents connected to wrongful death claims are:
- Automobile accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous premises accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Animal attacks
- Physical abuse or assault
After any avoidable accident or act of violence that causes a loved one’s death, surviving family members should seek legal advice about a potential wrongful death lawsuit.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
For a wrongful death lawsuit to succeed in Nebraska, the filing party must fulfill his or her burden of proof. This is an amount of proof or evidence necessary to establish the defendant as legally responsible for the fatal injury. In a civil case, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence: enough evidence to show that the defendant is more likely than not (at least 51%) responsible for causing the fatal injury.
A successful wrongful death claim generally requires proof of four main elements:
- Duty of care. The defendant owed the deceased individual a legal obligation to exercise a certain degree of care – the same amount of care a prudent party would have used.
- Negligent or intentional breach of duty. The defendant breached his or her duty of care through neglect, a wanton disregard for the safety of others or intent to harm.
- Causation for the fatal injury. The defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing caused the deceased individual harm.
- Monetary losses for surviving family members. Surviving family members suffered monetary injuries because of the decedent’s death.
It is important to note that in Nebraska, there is a statute of limitations on all wrongful death claims. A statute of limitations is a legal deadline to file. The representative of the deceased person’s estate must bring a claim within two years of the deceased person’s death. Failure to do so typically bars the family or estate from financial recovery.
Damages Available for Wrongful Death in Nebraska
Although no amount of money can ever make a family whole again after a wrongful death, a successful insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit can provide enough to allow the family greater financial stability and peace of mind moving forward. A successful wrongful death suit can repay a family for losses such as medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost earnings, and loss of the loved one’s consortium.
To learn more about wrongful death claims in Nebraska or discuss a particular case, contact an attorney today.
If you get into an auto accident, there are important steps you need to take to protect your rights as an injured victim. These steps are often critical for a successful insurance claim, yet most people fail to take them. There are also things you should not do – mistakes frequently made after auto accidents – that could hurt your claim. Avoid these five common examples for the strongest possible claim.
Not Calling the Police
Many crash victims are reluctant to involve the police. They may think they’re going to get tickets for traffic infractions, such as speeding or reckless driving. They may also wish to keep the accident under an insurance company’s radar by not reporting it. Failing to call 911 is a serious mistake, however. Not only is calling the police a legal requirement for a serious accident in Nebraska, but it could also provide an important type of evidence for an insurance claim.
The first thing an auto insurance company asks for when reviewing a claim is the police report number. The insurance company wishes to access the official write-up of the car accident by law enforcement. A police report can contain key information, such as the names of both drivers involved and statements from eyewitnesses. This information can be critical in determining fault and processing an insurance claim. Always call the police, even after a minor car accident, if you wish to have a stronger insurance claim.
Saying, “I’m Sorry”
It may be in your nature to apologize to the other driver involved in your auto accident. Doing so, however, could hurt your chances of recovering compensation from that driver, as an apology could be construed as an admission of guilt. Saying you’re sorry alludes to the fact that you think you did something wrong, such as something that might have caused the collision. Apologizing to the other driver, to the police or to an insurance agent could be the equivalent of admitting fault. Never say you’re sorry or admit fault for an auto accident. Instead, wait for the insurance company’s investigation to appoint fault.
Skipping the Doctor
Never skip the trip to a doctor or hospital after an auto accident in Omaha, even if you feel fine or think you’re uninjured. Hidden or delayed symptoms are a distinct possibility after a car accident, especially with adrenaline masking the pain. It is important to see a doctor after any car crash for an official injury diagnosis. This will serve as key evidence for your insurance claim. If you delay medical care or never see a doctor, the odds of an insurance company accepting your claim fall much lower.
Underestimating Your Losses
It is common for injured auto accident victims to underestimate their losses. This can lead to accepting less than they deserve from insurance companies. Part of the problem is that insurance companies often intentionally offer inadequate settlements in the hopes that claimants will not recognize the true value of their claims. You cannot renegotiate a settlement once accepted. This is why it is extremely important to ensure the fair value of a settlement offer before signing an agreement.
Handling a Claim Pro Se
Contacting an auto accident attorney in Omaha is the best way to find out how much your case is really worth. An attorney can also help you in other ways, such as negotiating with an insurance company on your behalf and setting you up with the best doctors in your area. Handling a claim pro se, or without an attorney, is a common mistake that can lead to accepting a too-low settlement. Learn more about what to do and what not to do after an auto accident by contacting a lawyer near you today.
Posted in Accident Information on January 25, 2021
A personal injury settlement is an amount of money awarded to an injured victim (plaintiff) by an insurance company to make the victim whole again. A victim may achieve a settlement by proving the policyholder’s fault for the accident and injury in question. Although every personal injury settlement is unique, most are broken down into similar parts.
Attorney’s and Legal Fees
The first portion of your settlement will go to the attorney and legal fees you owe, if any. This will not be an expense you have to pay if you represented yourself during a claim. If you hired a personal injury lawyer, however, and have not fully paid for legal services, your settlement will include an amount you owe the lawyer. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay any attorney’s fees until the resolution of your case.
If this is your payment setup, your lawyer will deduct his or her fees at the end of your case as a percentage of the settlement. If you won $200,000, for example, and the attorney worked on a 30% fee rate, $60,000 of your settlement would go to your attorney. You may also owe additional money for filing fees, court expenses and hiring an expert witness. Make sure you understand how your lawyer charges before you sign a contract.
The second chunk of your settlement will go to paying off your medical debts. Medical expenses are often the largest portion of a settlement in Nebraska. As an injured victim, your medical bills could total into the thousands or even the millions of dollars over your lifetime, especially if you suffered a permanent injury. Thus, the majority of your settlement will likely go to paying off what you owe your doctor or hospital in Omaha.
If a hospital has a medical lien against you, meaning you are indebted to the hospital, the hospital will automatically remove the amount owed from your settlement. Otherwise, it will be up to you or your attorney to pay for any outstanding medical expenses owed. If you choose a structured settlement, you will receive sums of money from the defendant periodically over the course of a few months or years to help you pay for future medical expenses as well.
If the accident forced you to miss work, such as for appointments with doctors or due to a temporary disability, part of your personal injury settlement will be an amount to make up for lost wages. A lost wage award can pay the full amount of income you likely would have made were it not for the accident and injury, including tips and employment benefits. If the accident gave you a permanent disability, a lost wage award could also include an amount to make up for your lost capacity to earn in the future.
Many personal injury settlements pay for other economic losses related to an accident, such as the costs of repairing damaged property or vehicles and traveling expenses. You will need to include any out-of-pocket costs on your claim in your demand letter, including receipts or financial statements as proof, to get reimbursed for these expenses.
Pain and Suffering
Finally, your personal injury settlement may include an amount awarded to you for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering pays for your intangible losses, such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental suffering and lost quality of life. An insurance company may offer compensation for pain and suffering to avoid the costs of going to trial. Otherwise, you will need to take your case to court to obtain pain and suffering damages. The amount awarded in pain and suffering will depend on the unique factors of your case, such as the gravity of your injuries.
Discuss your particular personal injury settlement with an attorney in Omaha for more information.
Posted in Accident Information on January 17, 2021
Every personal injury claim is unique. Some encounter complications, such as one party filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing can affect a personal injury claim in many ways – including the possibility of taking away an injured person’s ability to seek financial compensation from a defendant. If you believe your personal injury claim will involve a bankruptcy filing, learn more about what this may entail with help from an attorney.
If the Defendant Files for Bankruptcy
The defendant is the party allegedly at fault for causing the victim’s injury and losses. A defendant will be financially responsible for an accident if he or she caused the accident by failing to uphold the accepted standards of care. But what happens when the defendant does not have enough money or assets to pay for a victim’s losses? The answer depends, but it may involve a bankruptcy proceeding.
Some defendants file for bankruptcy if they cannot afford to pay a settlement or jury verdict awarded to a plaintiff. Upon filing, the defendant will be granted an automatic stay. An automatic stay is an injunction that effectively prevents debt collectors from seizing the defendant’s property or taking legal action to do so, such as filing liens against the defendant. The point of an automatic stay is to protect the debtor’s assets against all creditor actions.
In this scenario, a creditor cannot proceed with any litigation, trial or enforcement of judgments won against the defendant. However, an automatic stay is not without its limits. As a plaintiff, you may be able to continue with your claim despite an automatic stay if your situation meets the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code. You will need to seek relief from an automatic stay from the Bankruptcy Court by filing a motion.
In your motion, you will explain the legal basis on which you are seeking relief from an automatic stay, along with related documentation to support your claim. You will also need to pay a filing fee. If the Bankruptcy Court rules in your favor, the defendant may have to pay for your losses. If the court discharges all debts the defendant owes, you may no longer be able to pursue compensation. You may have to end your claim there, or else have your attorney search for other defendants to hold responsible for your losses.
If the Plaintiff Files for Bankruptcy
Another possibility is the plaintiff in a personal injury claim filing for bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy during a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska, this can impact your ability to recover compensation from a defendant. Once you file for bankruptcy, the defendant can file a motion for summary judgment. This means the defendant will no longer be the real party in interest in the lawsuit. Instead, your case will be handed over to the Bankruptcy Court and your trustee – a person appointed by the federal court to take possession of your bankruptcy estate.
If you file for bankruptcy in the middle of a personal injury claim, your trustee will take control of how to proceed with the lawsuit. You will lose your autonomy in deciding whether to settle with an insurance company or take your case to trial. These will be decisions made by your trustee instead, with the approval of the bankruptcy court. This is why it is extremely important to consult with an attorney before you file for bankruptcy prior to the resolution of your personal injury claim.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Claim in Omaha
How bankruptcy will affect your personal injury claim depends on many factors, including the type of bankruptcy filed and who files. The most common types are Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. A personal injury lawyer in Omaha can help you navigate a complicated claim where you or the defendant files for bankruptcy. Before you go any further with your case or a bankruptcy filing, contact an attorney for legal advice.
Posted in Accident Information on January 5, 2021
If you suffer an injury in an accident in Omaha, you could be eligible for financial compensation. The civil justice system gives injured accident victims the opportunity to bring damage claims against at-fault parties. A successful claim will result in financial compensation to make the victim whole again. Learn five basic facts about filing a personal injury claim before you start the legal process.
An Injury Does Not Automatically Mean You Have a Claim
First, recognize that suffering an injury in itself will not automatically give you the right to file a personal injury claim. The accident that caused your injury must contain the required elements of a claim based on the overarching law. For example, if you wish to file a claim based on negligence, you will need to prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, failed to fulfill the standards of care and caused your accident.
The elements of proof will change depending on the legal doctrine applied. A case based on premises liability, for example, will not be the same as one based on product liability. In general, however, a defendant must have committed a wrongful act that caused or contributed to your injury. If no one negligently, carelessly or recklessly caused your injury, you may not have grounds for a claim. There are exceptions, however, so consult with an attorney to find out if you have a case.
Insurance Companies Do Not Always Treat Clients Fairly
One of the biggest mistakes injured parties make is thinking the insurance company receiving the claim is on the client’s side. The agent you speak to may sound friendly and sympathetic, but he or she has one goal: to save the insurance company money. A claims adjuster will often try to achieve this goal by undervaluing the worth of a client’s losses.
Be wary when speaking to an insurance company about your claim. Do not admit fault for the accident and do not accept the first settlement offer. Initial settlements are not always fair. Seek a second opinion from a lawyer first, especially if your injuries are serious or long-term.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Come With a Deadline
Another critical error is assuming you have an unlimited amount of time in which to file your personal injury claim. In Nebraska, a law called a statute of limitations limits your ability to file a claim to four years from the date of the accident or of injury discovery. Although this rule has a few exceptions, it is critical to act quickly to file your claim if you do not want to risk being barred from recovery forever.
Filing a Claim Does Not Mean You Will Have to Go to Court
You may not have to go to trial to obtain compensation for your claim. The majority of personal injury cases settle before they go to court. Settling means the insurance company accepted the claim and offered a reasonable amount the client agreed to, effectively ending the case. The only cases that end up in trial are those with complicated factors, high-value damages or liability disputes. You can increase your chances of saving time and money by successfully settling your injury claim when you hire a personal injury attorney.
Hiring a Lawyer Makes a Big Difference
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can make an enormous difference to your case – both its outcome and your legal experience. A lawyer will understand Nebraska’s laws and navigate them to your greatest advantage. A lawyer will create an accurate estimate of your case’s value and won’t let you settle for less than you deserve. A lawyer will also grant you greater peace of mind during a tough time in your life.
If you are worried about how to afford a personal injury lawyer, look for a law firm that practices on a contingency fee basis. With this arrangement, you will not pay your lawyer unless he or she wins financial compensation on your behalf. This removes any financial risk you have in bringing a claim. Learn more about filing a personal injury claim during a free consultation with an attorney today.
Posted in Accident Information on January 2, 2021
In personal injury law, damages refer to the amount of money (compensation) you can recuperate for your injuries and losses. The amount you receive in damages is important, as it can determine whether you have enough to pay your debts and move forward after an accident. Learn how the courts in Nebraska calculate personal injury damages for an accurate idea of how much your case is worth. Estimating the value of your claim can allow you to negotiate with an insurance company for a reasonable amount.
The Myth of the “Average” Personal Injury Settlement
Many claimants in Nebraska ask what the average amount is for a personal injury settlement. This amount does not exist. Although you could calculate the average amount among recent settlements and verdicts won in Nebraska, this would not be an accurate predictor of what the average claimant receives, as there is no such thing as the average claimant. Settlement amounts vary widely from client to client. Many factors unique to a case can determine its worth.
- Injury severity
- The length of time it will take for the victim to recover or reach the point of maximum medical improvement
- Whether or not the injury is permanent
- The age and health of the victim
- The victim’s income level
- The extent of the victim’s losses
- Whether the defendant has enough insurance or assets to pay out a settlement
- Liability and comparative fault
These are several basic examples of factors that can impact the amount of personal injury damages awarded to a plaintiff. The issues that affect your specific claim may differ from this list. Some claimants in Omaha have received tens of thousands of dollars or less for their claims, while others have received multiple millions. Rather than looking for an average amount on which to base your claim, take the time to calculate its potential value using the same methods used by insurance companies, judges and juries.
Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
The vast majority of personal injury cases in Omaha settle without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. A settlement comes from an insurance company. After an injured victim files an insurance claim, the insurance company assigns a claims adjuster to review the matter. The claims adjuster will recommend to the company whether or not to accept the claim, as well as suggest an amount the adjuster believes is appropriate for the victim’s losses.
An insurance claims adjuster bases his or her estimate on documents such as medical bills, income statements, repair estimates, letters from doctors and expert opinions. For an idea of what your insurance settlement could be worth, add up all of the bills related to your accident. Don’t forget to estimate your future expenses, as well. This should give you an accurate idea of what your claim is worth in economic damages. Do not settle for less than this from a claims adjuster if less is offered. The insurance company may be offering less than your claim is really worth.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages, also known as noneconomic damages, are more difficult to calculate. You can receive this type of damage award if your injury claim goes to trial in Omaha. Pain and suffering is a category of damages awarded by a jury. This award is difficult to predict due to the fact that a jury has full discretion over how much or how little to grant. Although calculation methods are available, a jury can decide to use these equations or not when determining a fair amount in pain and suffering damages.
For the most accurate estimate of the full and fair value of your personal injury claim, consult with an attorney in Omaha. An attorney will review your case and related injury documentation; then, he or she will estimate your case’s value based on the damages suffered, the severity of your injuries, comparable cases and many other factors. Discuss your claim with an attorney today for more information.
If you get injured in a car accident in Nebraska, you will file a claim with the auto insurance provider of the at-fault party. This could be the other driver involved in the crash, a third party or your own insurance company. Either way, you will have to go through the insurance investigation process before you can receive benefits. Knowing how insurance companies investigate car accident claims can help you prepare for the process to come.
Assign Claims Adjusters
First, the insurance company will assign a worker with the title of insurance claims adjuster to your case. Insurance adjusters receive multiple cases across their desks every month. They are the professionals in charge of reviewing insurance claims and deciding if the claimant is entitled to receive benefits.
The insurance adjuster will be on the side of the insurance company. The adjuster will want to minimize, not maximize, your payout to save the insurance company money. Be careful what you say to a claims adjuster during an investigation. Do not admit fault, for example, or talk about your injuries until you have seen a doctor. The adjuster will be looking for reasons to deny or reduce benefits.
Read the Police Report
The adjuster will call you shortly after you report the car accident to ask for details and information, starting with the police report number. Calling the police and getting the police report number can strengthen your claim in the eyes of an insurance company. The police report can contain important details about your crash, such as who the police officer believes was to blame or which driver received a citation. Always give the police your side of the story while at the scene of a car accident. This will help you establish your version of events.
Talk to the Other Party
Once the adjuster speaks to you about the accident, he or she will collect information from the other party or parties involved. The adjuster may call the other driver involved in your wreck as well as speak to eyewitnesses who watched the crash occur. The goal of these conversations will be for the claims adjuster to obtain a well-rounded view of how and why the accident happened. This will allow the adjuster to determine liability and decide on your claim.
Review Photographs and Other Evidence
The insurance company will ask you to submit any evidence you have regarding your car accident. This may include photographs and video footage. The claims adjuster will inspect images taken to see if the property losses match what you have claimed. Taking photographs yourself while at the scene of a car accident can give you evidence of the other driver’s liability. A picture of food wrappers in the other driver’s seat, for instance, could serve as evidence of driver distraction.
Assess Property Damage in Person
Many insurance claims adjusters leave the office to visit crash scenes and auto shops in person. The adjuster may need an in-person assessment of property damage to accurately estimate the costs of repairs. The adjuster will also check to make sure the losses claimed are accurate to verify your credibility. The adjuster may also revisit the scene of the crash to try to gather available evidence, such as photographs of tire marks on the ground.
Review Medical Documentation
Last but not least, an insurance company will conduct an in-depth review of your medical records. It is important not to sign a release form giving the insurance company full access to your medical history. This is a strategy the adjuster may use to search for pre-existing conditions and deny your injury claim. Instead, give the insurance company copies of only the medical records that are relevant to your claim.
If you need assistance negotiating with an insurance company during its car accident investigation, contact an attorney in Omaha for representation.
After an accident such as a car crash, you need to take certain steps to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and property repairs. You must initiate a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. The document that starts an insurance claim is the injury demand letter. Find out how to write a winning injury demand letter, as well as when to hire an attorney for assistance.
What Does a Demand Letter Consist Of?
The injury demand letter is the note you will send to the insurance company receiving your claim after an accident. If you wish to claim benefits for an injury after an accident of any kind, you will need to submit a demand letter to establish your grounds for the claim and seek a specific amount in damages. A good injury demand letter covers several key topics.
- Your full name and address.
- The current date and the date of the accident.
- The defendant’s name and address.
- A brief description of the accident.
- Why you believe the defendant is liable.
- Relevant laws that establish the defendant’s liability.
- A description of your injuries.
- A list of all compensable damages sought, as well as their dollar amount.
- The total amount it will take for you to settle.
- A line explaining that you are willing to go to trial.
- Your signature or that of your attorney.
With these essential elements, you will have a strong demand letter that states your case and contains instructions for how you wish to settle the matter. You will submit the demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party. Then, you will wait for the insurance company to respond. The insurer will investigate your claim and reply with either an acceptance and a settlement offer or a notice of claim denial.
Tips for Writing a Good Injury Demand Letter
A strong demand letter is an important asset during a claim. A well-worded letter that contains all pertinent information can facilitate a more efficient claims process. It can increase your chances of the insurance company responding positively. Use a few tips to make sure your injury demand letter sends the right message.
- Be polite and respectful. Do not let any anger or frustration about the accident come through in your letter.
- Be clear and concise in your wording. Cut out any unnecessary words or phrases. Your letter should be one or two pages maximum.
- Mention the ability to go to court. The threat of taking the insurance company to court is what motivates it to offer a fair settlement.
Submitting evidence and documentation along with your injury demand letter can strengthen your claim. Send the insurance company proof of your injuries and losses, for example, such as medical records and pay stubs. Submitting evidence right away can cut out a lot of back and forth between you and the insurance provider, saving you time and energy.
Ask a Lawyer for Assistance
Do not take the injury demand letter lightly. It could be all that stands between you and the compensation you need to move forward. It is important for your demand letter to be succinct and professional. From small mistakes such as grammatical errors to major issues, the insurance company may change the way it handles your case based on your demand letter.
Give yourself the best possible odds of obtaining fair compensation by hiring a lawyer to write your demand letter for you. A lawyer will know exactly what to say and how to say it in a way that makes an insurance company take your claim seriously. If the insurance company still refuses to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can take the case to trial instead. Either way, an injury lawyer will not allow you to settle for less than your injuries demand. Speak to a personal injury lawyer today for more information about an injury demand letter.