By: Allan M. Siegel
Insurance companies compensate victims of
automobile accidents based on the victim’s documented or otherwise proven harms and losses.
In most cases, an important factor is the amount of your medical bills
and lost wages. If you want to be paid for the wages you lost while recovering
from the car accident, it is crucial to thoroughly document your income.
Have your supervisor sign off on your level of income and be ready to
answer questions about how your income is calculated. For example, if
you receive income from tips or a substantial part through cash, you will
need records documenting that you were earning what you claimed to earn.
If you cannot prove that you made the income you claim to have lost after
an accident, an insurance company will most likely deny your lost wages claim.
Other important issues that may impact your level of compensation is whether
you are a candidate for future surgery and whether you have a permanent
injury caused by the accident. If you have medical opinions stating that
you need surgery to resolve health problems caused by the auto accident,
your case will most likely be worth more than if you do not need surgery
after an accident. In addition, if you suffered a permanent injury because
of the accident, your compensation level will likely be greater than a
victim who suffered a minor neck injury that resolved after a few weeks
of physical therapy treatments.
Of course, other things can negatively impact the value of your claim.
For instance, if your own carelessness contributed to the accident, your
claim may be denied completely. If you have preexisting health problems
that affect the same body parts you claim were injured in a car crash,
an insurance company might balk at having to pay for your alleged injuries.
Similarly, if you were in car accidents after the accident you filed a
claim for and you claimed the same body parts were hurt in the subsequent
accidents, an insurance company might resist compensating you for a permanent
injury claim. The company could claim the subsequent accidents are the
“real” cause of your pain, not the accident for which you
filed a claim.
There are a myriad of factors that can impact the value of a
personal injury case. Some of these factors are fairly predictable (medical bills and
lost wages), while others depend on the jurisdiction. For instance, Maryland
law differs from Virginia law in some respects and both states differ
from the District of Columbia in other areas. In addition, the court system
where you file your claim may impact your claim as some court systems
have a reputation for higher verdicts and others for lower verdicts (and
insurance companies are well-versed in these reputations).
All of the above variables are part of the reason it’s important
to have an aggressive and informed personal injury lawyer on your side
like the attorneys of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C.
For more than four decades, our team of seasoned litigators have been
crafting case strategies and roadmaps with the goal of securing our clients
the highest possible level of compensation and to hold wrongdoers accountable.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt by another’s carelessness, please
contact us today for a free and prompt consultation with an attorney.