Should I Settle With an Insurer or File a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injuries generally occur due to the reckless and negligent actions of others. Common causes include car, bike, or pedestrian accidents and slips, trips, falls or other mishaps that happen on another person’s property. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs you incur. If an insurance policy is in place, you may be able to negotiate a settlement. You also may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible or the property owner. Which should you choose? While your options depend on the particular situation, the following highlights the pros and cons of both.
Compensation Through an Insurance Claim
Property owners and motorists are typically required to have some type of insurance policy in place. This protects them against legal liability and can offset losses others suffer. Filing a claim may be an option if the negligent actions of another cause you personal injuries. One of the advantages in pursuing this course of action is that it may allow for a quick settlement. However, it is important to be aware that the amount offered is likely to be for less than what you deserve.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. According to the American Association for Justice, the industry as a whole takes in more than $60 billion each year. Unfortunately, one of the ways they protect their bottom line is by denying or undervaluing claims. Tactics insurance representatives are likely to take include:
Downplaying the severity of your injuries
Underestimating your future medical costs and lost wages
Attempting to place a certain amount of blame on you, so they can reduce payouts
Offering immediate settlements before you have had the opportunity to fully comprehend the impact your injuries are likely to have on you now and in the years to come
Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Depending on the type of accident you were involved in and the extent of your damages, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the best option in your case. While it is likely to take longer, there are additional types of compensation you may be entitled to. Under Section 15-32-210 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, these include:
Current and future medical expenses you might incur and rehabilitative therapy
Lost wages and future losses in income, benefits, and business opportunities
Compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental anguish you endured due to the accident or your injuries and any scars or disfigurement that result
Compensation for loss of companionship or enjoyment in life suffered by you and your family members
Get Legal Guidance Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC., we can guide you in the best options for seeking compensation when accidents and injuries occur. Whether it involves negotiating with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit, our goal is to get you the maximum amount you need to recover. To request a consultation, contact us today.