Insurance Companies’ Bad Faith Refusal To Pay Claims
How Do I Know If I Have A Personal Injury Claim? Personal injuries can be caused in almost every way imaginable. Consequently, this is a very difficult question to answer. Basically, you must be able to prove that you were injured as the direct result of the fault of another. The most common type of Personal Injury case probably arises out of motor vehicle accidents. However, injured parties are also entitled to recover compensation for other types of Personal Injuries, including slip and fall injuries, product defects, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, insurance companies’ bad faith refusal to pay claims and wrongful death. If you have any doubts about whether you have a legitimate claim, you should consult an attorney knowledgeable in the area of Personal Injury law.
What Can I Recover for A Personal Injury? You are entitled to recover all the damages directly caused by your accident. Although every case is different, the law allows the victim of a Personal Injury to be compensated for:
Past and future medical expenses
Past and future lost wages
Loss of earning capacity
Physical pain and suffering
Emotional and mental suffering
Permanent physical impairment
Other financial loss
How Do I Know What My Personal Injury Case Is Worth? The value of a Personal Injury case depends upon a number of factors, including how easily the fault of the other party can be established, the seriousness of your injuries, the type of medical treatment you receive for your injuries, and the amount of insurance coverage available to pay for your injuries. Obviously, determining the precise value of your Personal Injury case prior to your release form medical treatment is a difficult, if not an impossible task. Every Personal Injury case is different. Therefore, the assistance of an attorney familiar with Personal Injury law may be absolutely vital to properly determine the fair value of your Personal Injury claim.
What If The Accident Was Partially My Fault? If you are in an accident with another party, you may still be able to recover for your injuries, even if the accident was partially your fault. However, in order to recover, you must be able to prove that the other party’s fault was greater than yours. In addition, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
What If I Have Been Hurt Before? Previous injuries do not affect your right to recover compensation. You are still entitled to recover damages for the re-injury or aggravation of the earlier injury if the aggravation is directly caused by another party. Where Will The Money Come From? Usually, the party who caused your injury has insurance to pay for your damages. In addition, your own insurance policy may contain coverages which provide a source of compensation for your injuries. However, often times, sources of compensation are overlooked. Consequently, the assistance of an attorney experienced in the handling of Personal Injury claims can often increase your ability to recover. What If The Person At Fault In An Automobile Accident Has No Insurance? Oklahoma law requires drivers to maintain insurance coverage on their vehicles. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore this requirement. However, in many cases, there is still insurance coverage available to provide compensation for your injuries. If the party at fault does not maintain insurance on his vehicle, or does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages, your insurance company may provide compensation if your automobile policy provides for “uninsured motorist” coverage. This is one of the most technical and complicated areas of Personal Injury law. Consequently, in this type of situation, the advice of an attorney experienced in handling Personal Injury claims may be extremely important. Am I Entitled To Have My Car Repaired? Yes! If you are involved in an automobile accident that was not your fault, the responsible party or his insurance company is liable for the payment of reasonable repair charges. If your automobile is a total loss, you are entitled to the reasonable market value of the vehicle versus the repair costs. If My Car Is Damaged In An Automobile Accident, Am I Entitled To A Rental Car? Yes! If the accident was not your fault, and your vehicle is not driveable as a result of the accident, the responsible party or his insurance company must pay reasonable rental car expenses while your car is being repaired.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
Absolutely! The law specifically gives you the right to select your own treating physician. You do not need advance approval from an insurance company to begin medical treatment.
Is Chiropractic Care Covered?
Definitely! The law very clearly allows a party injured in an accident to receive chiropractic treatment. The law provides that YOU have the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE the type of medical care you receive as the result of an accident.
Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?
Absolutely not! In fact, most Personal Injury cases are concluded without the filing of a lawsuit. Moreover, the filing of a lawsuit may delay your recovery and increase your expenses under certain circumstances. Therefore, we feel that a lawsuit should usually be filed only as a last resort. However, sometimes a lawsuit must be filed in order to obtain a full and fair recovery.
How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?
Usually you must either settle your case or file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident. If a suit is not filed within this time period, you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. However, there are a number of exceptions. Consequently, the normal filing period can sometimes be extended. Therefore, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney to be sure your rights are fully protected.
Do I Need An Attorney?
You are not required by law to have an attorney represent you. However, without a lawyer you will be required to deal on your own directly with an experienced insurance adjuster or insurance company lawyer. It is fair to assume that either of these individuals will have the best interest of the insurance company in mind. As mentioned several times in this booklet, the best way to be sure that you receive each and every benefit provided by law, is to have the help of an attorney who understands Personal Injury law, and who is interested in YOUR RIGHTS.
How Much does An Attorney Charge?
Most attorneys who handle Personal Injury cases charge a percentage of what they recover for their client. This is known as a “contingency fee arrangement.” THE FIRM OF BOETTCHER, BOETTCHER AND LOBOUGH DOES NOT CHARGE AN ATTORNEY FEE UNLESS WE ARE ABLE TO ACTUALLY RECOVER COMPENSATION ON YOUR BEHALF. We also do not charge an attorney fee for per¬sonally consulting with you about your case. Applicable regulations require that the client remain responsible for necessary expenses.
How Long Will It Take To Conclude My Claim?
The length of time necessary to conclude a Personal Injury case depends upon a number of factors. Obviously, you will not be in a position to consider settling your claim until you have received sufficient medical care and are released by your physician. Therefore, the amount of time required to heal from a Personal Injury is often one of the biggest factors in determining the length of time necessary to conclude a Personal Injury claim. In most cases, once you have been released from medical treatment, settlement negotiations can begin almost immediately. At that point, most claims can be brought to a prompt conclusion.
Where Can I Obtain Additional Information About Personal Injury Claims? Please call us for a free consultation.