Most of us will eventually get into a car accident. At least 4.5 million Americans are hurt in car accidents annually, so it’s really more a matter of when than if. Sadly, many car accidents result in serious back injuries that can last for years or even the rest of your life.
Filing a legal claim for a back injury lawsuit settlement is a common way injured motorists recover financial compensation for their back injuries, property damage, lost wages and other damages caused by a car accident.
The severity of a back injury can range from a mild muscle strain to dislocated and/or ruptured discs, or even injury to the spinal cord. Whether your car accident led to a minor or major back injury, you deserve compensation for your injuries. You can file a claim for a back injury settlement after a car accident if you follow some simple steps.
If you reside in a no-fault state, you would file your back injury claim with your own insurance company, even if the other driver caused the accident. Your PIP or personal injury protection on your policy will reimburse you for your back injury damages, such as medical costs and lost earnings, up to a maximum policy limit. But your PIP will not pay for your pain and suffering; this can be substantial with a back injury.
If you do not live in a no-fault state, you would file your car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.
How to Deal with an Auto Insurance Adjuster
Your filed insurance claim will be assigned to a claims adjuster. The adjuster for the other driver’s policy may seem sympathetic. But you should remember his job is to pay you as little as possible for your back injuries, and even deny the claim totally.
The claims adjuster is trained to get you to say things on the phone that can damage your back injury settlement. Be wary of giving a recorded statement to a claims adjuster. You should never give a recorded statement after an accident if you are medicated, agitated or angry, or generally uncomfortable answering their questions.
Also, be careful if you sign a release your medical records. The auto insurance company does need to see records and bills to value and prove your back injury damages. But they are not entitled to receive health records that are not directly related to your accident injuries. You are entitled to demand a limited health record release for only documents related to your car accident back injury.
Once you have fully recovered as much as possible from your back injury, you need to calculate the value of your claim. You would add up your medical bills, out of pocket expenses and then add a ‘reasonable’ amount for your pain and suffering.
You will need to back up you claimed damages with the adjuster, but do not be surprised or angry when the adjuster scrutinizes the claim. The other driver’s auto insurance will not just hand you a check for what you ask for. You will need to prove the other driver caused the accident and your back injuries.
If you have questions about how to get the most from your back injury settlement, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.