This is often the first question someone will ask when they have a consultation with one of our attorneys at Marler Law Partners about a personal injury car accident claim. The short answer is: It’s complicated.
However, there are several factors insurance companies will consider that you should keep in mind before giving an attorney a call.
Who Caused The Accident / Who Was At Fault?
An insurance company will only pay for injuries that are its responsibility. If a police report or witness statement doesn’t match up with yours, you may need an attorney to step in and make sure the insurance company has the correct information pertaining to your case.
Some important questions to help determine liability include:
- Did you get rear-ended?
- Did the other driver obey the traffic signal/stop sign?
- Are there witnesses?
- What does the police report say?
Make sure to grab the contact information of any witnesses so that your claims can be backed up.
How Bad Is The Damage / Your Injuries?
The insurance company will evaluate how much your claim is worth based on the extent of damage to your car and your injuries.
Your medical records – and not just those pertaining to the accident – will be used, as well as your bills and any documents of further treatment. The more documents and receipts you have tied to your injury, the better value you get in your case.
It’s also good to account for other indirect costs related to the injury. The unpaid days you had to take off of work, the cost of renting or using another car, the cost of childcare during doctors’ appointments and more can all factor in. Be sure to document the following:
- Did you see a doctor/ go to the emergency room?
- Did you have follow up treatment or medication?
- Did you have to take time off work?
- Was this injury already existing and now needs more attention?
When in doubt, bring your expenses from the weeks and months following the accident and Marler Law Partners can determine if the costs can be considered related to your injury or car accident.
Other Factors That Affect Settlement Value:
In addition to the facts of the case, there are a number of other considerations that influence a settlement. Some of these include:
- Your age
- Your social media profiles
- Your health/condition prior to the accident
- Unsafe actions by you or the other party (texting and driving, no seatbelt, etc.)
- Reliability of your account – did your story change? What about the other party’s?
When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with an attorney – after all, it’s free to consult with your friends at Marler Law!
If you’ve been in an accident in St. Louis or Southeast Missouri, Scott Pecher is one of the best attorneys in the region. He’s been on both sides of the table, representing insurance companies and as well as countless clients like you.
If you’re going up against the big insurance companies, you are much better equipped with someone who knows how they manage their claims and calculate what injuries are worth.