Being injured due to the negligence of another party is always a bad experience. Our health is commonly the most important component of our personal lives and injuries can hamper all types of activity, including merely getting through the day for those who are seriously injured. Equally as frustrating as being injured is attempting to recover financial damages that are so common with personal injuries as well. Often times people who have been needlessly injured will not be able to work, which is only means of financial support for most people. And then, to compound the issue, there are medical bills and the need for transportation to make all medical treatment appointments. When all of the problems associated with an injury are considered, it is difficult to know exactly where to turn first for direction through the legal maze of dealing with insurance companies and their negligent clients. This is where having an experienced personal injury attorney can make a major difference in being properly compensated.
Know Your Rights
While many personal injury victims understand they can be compensated for their medical bills and lost property, such as a totaled vehicle from an auto accident, many people do not realize the extent of additional general damage claims that can be made. In addition, many individuals also do not understand how comparative negligence works when it comes to insurance claims. Comparative negligence is commonly the primary defense from insurance companies who are reluctant to pay a claim, usually stating the claimant was largely responsible for their own injuries. It is important to understand the court may not view recovery rights in the same mode as the insurance company adjusters, but not having a personal injury attorney keeping them honest could result in a small settlement at best and no compensation at all in some instances. This is why everyone has the right to a day in court with their case being represented by an experienced legal professional.
Filing an Insurance Claim
The first step an injured accident victim will usually take is contacting the respondent insurance company in order to file a claim. All insurance companies have a standard protocol when any claim is filed, including dispatching an accident evaluation team to investigate what actually happened. Agents are generally friendly at the time of the first contact, asking specific questions regarding the claim, but the information gathered by the accident team in addition to information gleaned from the claimant will then be used by company claims adjusters to determine what if any benefits they will be required to pay, usually based on the level of negligence of their client.
All injured claimants should understand that Oklahoma is an “at fault” state that implements modified comparative negligence when determining the amount of insurance recovery an injured victim can receive. While injured passengers rarely have any comparative negligence percentage, injured driver claimants are always assessed for personal contribution to causation of the accident. The respondent insurance company will typically over-state personal contribution to the accident as a potential means of reducing a claim or an outright reason for denial, which is exactly why it takes a detail-driven personal injury attorney to secure an equitable settlement.
What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do
Claimants are always at a disadvantage when trying to settle a personal injury claim without the benefit of experienced legal counselor because all insurance claims adjusters are trained professional negotiators who deal with denying or reducing personal injury claims on a daily basis. In addition, when they think they can avoid a claim altogether or lessen the value significantly, they will usually make a quick unsubstantial settlement offer or force the case to court.
A personal injury lawyer can inspect all articles of evidence, including cross-examination of accident reconstruction officials, and craft a case for maximum recovery for their client. Attorneys are officers of the court as well police officers and have the legal authority to conduct a separate investigation on the behalf of their injured client in support of a whole damage claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, The Gorospe Law Group personal injury law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma can assist you to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
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