Making Insurance Claim vs. Filing Suit
Accidents are all too common here in Kentucky. When you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, what is the best route to recovery for medical expenses and lost wages? Through an insurance claim—or through a lawsuit?
Filing an insurance claim may seem like a simple DIY proposition, but keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit entities that protect their bottom line. They are not your friends when it comes to your attempts to pursue financial compensation.
On the other hand, should you file a lawsuit, the process can be long, complex, and costly. However, lawsuits may allow you to pursue non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. A lawsuit might also be the only way for you to receive what is fair.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident—or even in a premises accident such as a slip and fall—in or around Louisville, Kentucky, contact the personal injury attorneys at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter provide personalized one-on-one service. You won’t be shuffled off to a paralegal or other staff member. You’ll be involved in every decision to seek the compensation you deserve.
Pros and Cons of Filing an Insurance Claim
The quickest route to recovery from your injuries in any type of accident caused by another person or entity would seem to be through the insurance claims process. The first item to consider is how much the other party’s insurance is capped at. This will apply whether you’re facing a no-fault claim against your own insurer or an at-fault claim against the other person’s insurer, assuming this is an auto accident.
Beyond the dollars and cents, there is also the reality that insurance companies don’t just roll over and open their wallets, so to speak. Insurers employ what are called claims adjusters, whose job it is to investigate every case and determine the percentage of fault (or negligence) of everyone involved. That includes you as the injured party as well as the party you’ve claiming to be responsible in an at-fault scenario.
Claims adjusters employ strategies to get you to say something that will hurt your case, or admit to some sort of fault. Their goal is to lowball or even deny your claim altogether. For instance, suppose you are rear-ended while stopping for a stray animal that suddenly bolted in front of you, but the driver behind you reported that your brake lights didn’t work. If the insurance company buys their story, you may be assigned 30 percent of the fault for the accident and your resulting injuries. Your $20,000 claim could suddenly become a $14,000 settlement at best—$20,000 minus 30 percent of $20,000.
Pros and Cons of a Lawsuit
Suppose you are able to file a personal injury lawsuit because you chose at-fault insurance (Kentucky is a “choice no fault” state in which you can choose between at-fault or no-fault insurance) or your injuries breached the no-fault threshold. In this case, you can seek both economic damages (like medical expenses and lost wages) and noneconomic damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium. However, you will still face the rule of comparative negligence, and you could be assigned a portion of the fault, reducing any award you might receive.
A lawsuit also requires filing fees and ongoing legal expenses. Let’s assume you’re suing the other party’s insurance company. They are only legally bound to the caps on their client’s policy, which at its most basic is $25,000 for injuries to one person and $50,000 for injuries to all involved in an accident the policyholder caused. The driver may have more insurance than the basic kind, or may have assets you can tap into. That’s another important consideration to discuss with your lawyer.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
First, an experienced personal injury and auto accident attorney will be more than familiar with the tactics employed by insurance claims adjusters. You will be far better off letting your attorney negotiate with the relevant insurance companies. An attorney will also know when it’s time to accelerate your case with a personal injury lawsuit. Ultimately, an attorney can you navigate the legal system in Kentucky.
Bottom line: Don’t try to do this alone. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can counter the advantages the insurer has over the average claimant, resulting in a better ultimate outcome.
Attorneys Who Put You First
The husband-and-wife legal team at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC stands ready to take on your claim and pursue it. Reach out to Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter immediately if you or a loved one is injured in any type of accident. The firm will handle the claims adjusters and their tactics so that you can take care of everything else going on in your life. Wherever you are in Kentucky—including Louisville, Lexington, or elsewhere—set up a consultation today.