How To Enhance The Value Of Your Baltimore Personal Injury Case.
The core arguments made by any Baltimore injury lawyer are that his or her client has been injured, has suffered economic and non-economic losses as a result, and deserves compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. The focus of this article is not gimmicks to artificially or unfairly inflate the worth or value of any Baltimore injury case. Rather, an experienced Baltimore injury and accident lawyer discusses insurance company arguments and tactics to minimize your case, and counter-measures to avoid them. The top weapon in the insurance arsenal is of course the insurance claim denial. Here, the insurance company says there is no coverage for the event, there will be no payment. There are other tactics as well, though, that lead to the same bottom line: fewer dollars paid out on fewer personal injury claims. Yes, an insurance company can initially offer an amount that is lower than what you believe your claim is worth, or they might contest the value of your claim. This is often a point of contention between policyholders and insurers, especially in cases where damages are subjective or not easily quantifiable, such as with pain and suffering in personal injury claims or the value of lost personal items in a property claim.
Here are some reasons why an insurance company might offer in support of their minimization of your claim, and in justification of an offer less than what you believe your claim is worth:
Interpretation of Policy Limits: The insurance company may argue that the amount you’re claiming exceeds the policy’s coverage limits.
Disagreement on Damage Extent or Value: The adjuster may have a different opinion on the extent of the damage or the value of the claim. For example, in a Baltimore auto insurance claim, they might believe your injuries are not severe. An insurance company rarely concedes an injury is permanent. A permanent injury refers to any lasting damage or impairment that an individual sustains as a result of trauma, illness, or an incident. Such an injury typically doesn’t improve even with medical treatment and can persist for the rest of the individual’s life. Not surprisingly, the concept of a permanent injury is often discussed in medical, legal, and insurance contexts, and the exact definition or criteria can vary based on the specific context.
Here are some general characteristics of a permanent injury:
Irreversible Nature: Claims adjusters routinely state the injury has healed, and not an injury or condition that does not heal or cannot be fully corrected, even with medical intervention.
Functional Limitations: Insurance claims adjusters frequently contend the injury results in no loss or no limitation of use of a body part or function.
Long-Term Effects: Symptoms or impairments persist for an extended period, sometimes for the remainder of the individual’s life.
Impact on Daily Life: This is a favorite insurance company question. It’s difficult to answer, and, if the answer given by the injured person is limited, it can and will be used against them at their Baltimore personal injury trial. The injury might affect the person’s ability to perform daily tasks, work, or enjoy recreational activities.
The insurance company may agree that you were injured, and then argue aggressively, through trial, that you were injured in a very scant slight way, and needed only a checkup at your doctor. The insurance company may well employ a physician to serve as an expert witness who will not doubt opine the plaintiff sustained “no permanent injury” in the accident.
Common examples of permanent injuries include:
Spinal Cord Injuries: These can be permanently or temporarily partially or totally disabling, depending on the severity. Severe injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): As with spine injuries, these range across a spectrum. Where severe, these can result in cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments.
Loss of Sensory Function: Such as blindness or deafness.
Severe Burns: Leading to permanent disfigurement or functional impairments.
Chronic Pain Conditions: Such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or fibromyalgia, which might not have a “cure” and can persist indefinitely.
These conditions are frequently heatedly contested by the insurance company both in the claims process and at trial.
Loss of Limb: Amputation or the loss of a body part. By their very nature, these are devastating injuries with lifelong consequences.
In legal contexts, especially personal injury cases, establishing the permanency of an injury- while only part of what can be considered by a jury at a personal injury trial- can be crucial. It can affect the amount of damages or compensation an injured party may be entitled to, considering future medical expenses, long-term care needs, and pain and suffering. Expert testimony is needed to secure opinions in this regard, and a Baltimore injury and accident lawyer canprovide guidance on securing such services.
It’s also important to note that while some injuries might be immediately recognized as permanent, others might be identified as such only after a period of treatment or observation.
Policy Exclusions: The insurer might argue that some of your claimed damages are due to causes that are excluded from your policy.
Lack of Documentation: If you don’t provide sufficient evidence or documentation to substantiate your claim’s value, the insurer might offer a lower amount.
Disagreement on Liability: In some cases, the insurer might argue that you share some or all of the responsibility for the damages, reducing the amount they are willing to pay. In a Baltimore Car accident lawsuit, a finding of even scant or slight negligence on the part of the plaintiff is a complete bar to recovery based on contributory negligence. Here again, an experienced Baltimore car accident litigator can successfully argue a liability case in court.
The belief of Inflated Claims: Insurers are wary of fraudulent or inflated claims, and they might be skeptical if they believe you’re claiming more than what is legitimately owed.
Negotiation Tactics: Many insurance companies use settlement software to generate numbers. Some insurers might start with a low offer expecting you to negotiate, knowing that many policyholders will accept a lower amount rather than go through the hassle of challenging the valuation.
If you believe the insurance company is not offering what your claim is worth:
Gather Evidence: Make sure you have comprehensive documentation, including photographs, receipts, medical records, repair estimates, and anything else that can substantiate your claim.
Consult with Professionals: This might include second-opinion doctors for medical evaluations, or mechanics for auto damage assessments. You don’t have to hire a personal injury attorney, but I would advise at lease a consultation.
Negotiate: Engage in a negotiation process with the insurer, presenting your evidence and reasoning for a higher claim value.
MIA -Maryland Insurance Administration: If you believe the insurance company is acting in bad faith or not adhering to insurance regulations, you can file a complaint with Insurance Administration. https://insurance.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Legal Action: Remember, just because an insurance company makes an offer doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Understanding your rights and the details of your policy, as well as seeking advice when needed, can help you get a fair settlement. If you can’t reach an agreement, or think a better agreement is possible, you may consider hiring an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer to either negotiate on your behalf or pursue legal action.