Personal injuries occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, getting struck by or against objects, and other types of mishaps. Generally referred to as “accidents,” they are often a result of the reckless actions of others involved. Insurance policies may be in place to cover the medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses you incur. But, before agreeing to a settlement, it is important to factor in additional compensation you can only get through a personal injury lawsuit instead.
The Risks of Rushing to Accept an Insurance Settlement
One of the first things to happen after an accident involving personal injuries is for insurance companies to get involved. Whether you were injured in a car accident or as a result of dangerous conditions on another’s property, policies the at-fault party has in place may reimburse you for the losses you suffer.
However, it is important when dealing with insurers to remember that they are for-profit businesses. The American Institute for Justice reports that these companies clear more than $30 billion each year and that company executives and CEOs are among the highest paid in any industry. Among the ways they protect their bottom line is by denying or downplaying claims.
Offering an immediate settlement is a common tactic. Victims of personal injuries are generally relieved to get a claims check quickly. Unfortunately, this creates several problems:
An immediate settlement does not allow time for your doctor to fully determine the extent of your injuries or long-term impacts you could suffer as a result
It does not cover any future medical costs or lost wages you are likely to incur
It deprives you of additional types of compensation you may otherwise be entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit
Compensation Available Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, the compensation you may be entitled to in a claim is referred to as damages. Economic damages cover tangible losses you suffer. This includes your current medical expenses and lost wages, as well as any future care and treatment or any losses in earnings that result from your injuries. Under the South Carolina Code, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages. These cover intangible costs, such as:
The pain and suffering you experience as a result of your accident or injuries
The loss of enjoyment in life you experience due to ongoing disabilities or other health issues you suffer as a result
Loss of consortium, which factors in the burdens and sacrifices your spouse will likely face as a result of your injuries
You may also be entitled to punitive damages. This is an additional amount the judge may order to punish the at-fault party for conduct that was particularly willful and negligent.
Contact Us Today for Help
Before settling for less than what you are entitled to in an insurance claim, reach out to the Surasky Law Firm, LLC. You need to explore the compensation you can only get through a personal injury lawsuit first. Contact our Aiken personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation today.