Bodily Injury claims encompass compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and other areas of loss. This area of compensation is typically a major focus of attention by an insurance company because this is where they have the most financial exposure. As such, right after you are injured in an accident, an insurance claim adjuster will usually try to obtain as much information as possible from you to minimize the claim.
They will ask you detailed questions about what pain you did—or did not—feel right after the accident, your subsequent medical care, and a number of specific questions about your past medical history. Your answers may be useful to them down the road when you make your claim. They will also ask you to sign some highly open-ended medical releases, so they can obtain any and all of your medical records from the past, present, or future. For these reasons, do not give them an oral, written, or recorded statement or agree to sign any medical record releases.
Once all of your medical treatment is finished–or your injuries are deemed to be permanent in nature–we will start documenting your case through your medical chart and all relevant medical bills. These documents will serve to support the seriousness of your injuries and pain & suffering, and explain how they were caused by the incident. They will also support the legitimacy of your medical treatment and lost wages. Often times, we hire medical experts to further explain complex injuries and medical procedures. We also may obtain expert liability reports to explain proximate cause, and economists are sometimes brought in to explain damages.
Putting together a strong demand package is critical to the success of the claim. When a case is not well documented, insurance adjusters offer a very small sum of money and play “hardball” during negotiations. A case supported by good investigative evidence, strong medical reports, and other relevant expert opinions will convince the adjuster of the strength of your case. At that point, the insurance company usually pays the fair value of the claim to avoid the costs of litigation and a potentially expensive bad faith claim.