This is the next post in our series on dealing with insurance adjusters after an accident which occurred in Peoria or other Illinois areas. Our last article discussed the process of dealing with insurance adjusters after a wreck. It also discussed the importance of retaining an attorney to deal with the insurers on your behalf. It is important for accident victims to understand that it is the job of an adjuster to protect the interests of the insurance company, and not the victim. By retaining an attorney, you help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the reasons for which a personal injury case may take significant time to settle. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
As we discussed in our prior post, a victim’s attorney will send a demand for payment to the insurance company. It is important to understand, however, that this demand cannot be sent until the victim’s future prognosis and long-term damages are reasonably ascertained. Sending a demand letter, before the long-term damages are understood, can result in a victim not getting the money they need to offset wage loss or medical expense caused by the accident. Suppose, for example, a victim suffers a severe back injury in a trucking accident. The victim assumes they will fully recover from the accident after physical therapy and accepts a settlement from the insurance company. It is later determined that the victim will not fully recover, will need to have spinal fusion, and will never recover their full range of motion. The victim is forced to change careers as a result of this. Unfortunately, the settlement the victim agreed to likely would not have included compensation for the upcoming extreme medical costs or the long-term loss of income. Given that all settlements are final, there is now nothing which can be done. This is just one example of why a victim should wait until their future needs are more well-known to demand a settlement.
An experienced personal injury attorney will take steps to ensure that a settlement demand is not sent prematurely. These steps will include discussing the victim’s situation with the treating physicians and, if necessary, other medical experts. Counsel will gain an understanding of when the victim’s long-term prognosis can be reasonably known. Moreover, counsel will have relationships with the types of experts necessary for determining how the incident will impact your long-term economic prospects. Since these determinations cannot be made until you have a long-term health prognosis, it is important to understand that significant time may pass before a settlement demand is sent to the insurer.
It is understandable that a personal injury victim may be looking for a quick settlement. Being injured by another’s negligence can cause both financial need and extreme frustration. It is important to remember, however, that waiting to resolve the matter is often in the best interest of the victim. An experienced lawyer will help to guide you through this process. As a Peoria accident attorney, I devote a significant part of my practice to handling such matters. Our office prides itself on providing quality service and we believe in protecting the rights of people rather than insurance companies. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.