A misstep in your personal injury claim could adversely impact your settlement with the insurance company. From day one, it is important for you to separate fact from fiction, so that you do not make the wrong decision in your case. To help you avoid costly mistakes, here are some common misconceptions about personal injury cases and what you need to know.
Personal Injury Cases Are Always Decided in Court
For some people, the idea of heading to court to square off against an insurance company is enough to walk away from their claim. What they might not know is that not all personal injury cases end up in the courtroom.
Insurance companies are usually anxious to settle cases outside of the courtroom. The companies know that they could end up losing in court and face punitive damages that could dramatically increase the amount of money awarded to the plaintiff. It can be difficult to determine how a jury will see a case, and in many instances, the insurance company knows it is cheaper to settle.
Negotiations Are Over After the Lawsuit Is Filed
Occasionally, negotiations with the insurance company can break down. When they do, you could be faced with filing a lawsuit and having the court decide your case. Contrary to popular belief, filing a lawsuit does not mean that your chance to settle with the insurance company is gone.
You and the insurance company can continue to negotiate until the verdict is reached in your case. If you reach an agreement before then, your lawsuit can be dismissed and you can move forward with the collection process for your case.
You Have to Agree to a Recorded Statement Before Settling
While attempting to settle your claim, an adjuster could result to stretching the truth to get you to accept a lower settlement amount. One way to do this is by pressuring you to give a recorded statement. With a recorded statement, the insurance company can compare what you say to previous statements. If there are any discrepancies, the company could argue that you are not entitled to the settlement you seek.
Whether or not you have to give a recorded statement depends largely on your state's laws and the wording of the insured's policy. If state law says that you must give a statement, do not give it without first talking to your attorney. He or she can ensure that you are properly prepared for the interview.
Consult with your attorney on other misconceptions that you have heard about personal injury settlements so that you can be sure you get the deserved compensation.
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