When you are injured in an accident, you will have to deal with pain and medical expenses, so you will want to file an insurance claim.
Certain circumstances must exist for you to file a claim. There are several questions that you should ask yourself before you contact an insurance company.
Who caused the accident?
There are two different types of personal injury claims that you can file. If you caused a collision with another car or were in a single-car accident and you have personal injury protection insurance, you would file a claim with your insurance company. If another person caused your accident, you would file a claim against their insurance.
In order to establish that your accident was someone else’s fault, you must document the accident and any bills resulting from it.
According to the attorneys at Wattel & York – personal injury attorney in Tucson, you should take pictures after an accident and get the names and numbers of anyone who might have seen the accident.
What type of accident caused your injury?
One thing that will determine if you have a personal injury case is the kind of accident that you had. The qualifiers are a bit different for each type of injury.
When you are involved in a car accident, you will exchange insurance information with the other drivers. You will also get a copy of the accident report from the law enforcement officer who came to the scene.
There are two types of insurance rules in America, fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s insurance will pay for their accident-related bills no matter who caused the collision.
Arizona is a fault state. More importantly, it is a comparative negligence state. This means that if you are involved in an accident, you may have a personal injury claim even if you were partially responsible for the crash.
If you have personal injury protection insurance, you can file a claim no matter who caused the accident.
Slip and Fall
If you injure yourself on the property of a business or individual, you may be eligible for compensation. You must establish that you injured yourself because the property owner neglected their duty of care.
Duty of care is a legal requirement that mandates that individuals take responsibility for their actions. A person must take reasonable care while doing anything that could foreseeably harm others. Hence a person who owns a shop or a home has a duty of care to make sure everything is maintained properly. They must clean up spills and remove obstacles in a timely fashion. If they do not and you have an accident, you can file a claim on their insurance. If you injure yourself at a business, make sure you fill out an accident report with the manager.
If you are injured at work, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. You must notify your immediate supervisor right away. The company will fill out a worker’s compensation claim for you, and you will be required to visit a doctor in their worker’s compensation network.
If you require extensive medical care or are on disability, you will have to fill out additional claims. You will rarely be allowed to sue over a workers comp claim. However, if you feel that you have not received proper compensation for your injuries, you may want to consider a lawsuit.
If you are injured because you used a product in the way that it was intended, you may have a product liability claim. A defective product may be the fault of a designer, manufacturer, or even the marketing company that wrote the instructions for the product’s use.
Figuring out whose insurance to file a claim against can be challenging. You must determine why the product injured you and whether it is poorly designed or was just not manufactured properly.
You might need to pay a professional to determine whether or not you have a case. For example, if you are injured in a single-car accident and you were obeying traffic laws, the crash may be caused by the vehicle. You can take your car to a mechanic who specializes in your make of car or to a mechanical engineer.
If you want your claim to be successful, you will have to establish that you were using the product correctly. For example, if you took the proper amount of a certain medication and you got sick, you might be able to file an insurance claim or lawsuit provided you took it for the ailment it was supposed to cure. You may also have a case if the product’s instructions were confusing.
Product liability claims often result in class action lawsuits. Because of the amount of research involved in a product liability suit, attorneys will often look for multiple litigants when they suspect a product is faulty.
Research and documentation are very important in a product liability suit, so you will need to hire a personal injury law firm that has handled product liability before. They must have a staff of researchers with plenty of time to thoroughly investigate your claim.
When you go to a doctor for medical treatment or surgery, you expect to get better, not worse. However, sometimes doctors and hospitals are negligent. Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the country, including medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice can include an orderly who fails to clean equipment properly. A patient may be injured by a nurse who gives them the dosage of medication or a doctor who gives them the wrong diagnosis.
Doctors have been known to remove or operate on the wrong part of the body and leave sponges inside of people.
In some cases, a doctor or hospital may admit to an error and provide you with their insurance information. They may even offer you a settlement. You should never take that settlement without first talking to a personal injury attorney.
Unfortunately, there are some irresponsible dog owners. If you are bitten by a dog, its owner should pay for your medical bills. If it happened at their home, you may be able to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, depending on their homeowner’s policy. Some renter’s insurance policies will cover dog bites as well.
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. There are several types of liability for which a dog owner may be held responsible.
A dog owner is responsible for any property damage or injury caused by their dog if the dog was not provoked. If you have reason to believe the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous, you may have an insurance claim. A dog owner will also be liable if the injury happened because the owner did not control their dog.
An insurance company will expect you to prove that the dog owner knew they had a dangerous dog and did nothing about it. This may require quite a bit of research, so you will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
You can do a few things to ensure that your insurance claim is a success in addition to just taking pictures and getting the names of witnesses. When you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, you should always:
- Go to the doctor even if you feel fine. You may have injuries that you cannot feel.
- Save copies of all your medical bills, including those for alternative treatment and physical therapy.
- Save the receipts for both prescription and non-prescription medicine you have taken.
- Get a letter from your employer stating the hours you have missed from work and the wages you have lost.
- Save the receipts for any help you have needed around the house.
- If you are unable to drive because of your injuries, save the receipts from taxis or ridesharing services.
Hiring an Attorney
You should always consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting an insurance company’s offer. An attorney can tell you if the settlement offer is fair or if you are entitled to more.
Like any business, an insurance company’s goal is to keep expenses down and save as much money as possible. They are unlikely to offer you a fair settlement without some negotiations. A personal injury attorney will know how to negotiate with insurance companies. If the insurance company does not offer you a reasonable settlement amount, an attorney will be able to represent you in court.
The attorney you hire should be well versed in injury law and have a stellar reputation with their state Bar. They should be able to provide you with plenty of references.
Having an accident is traumatizing, but a good attorney, careful documentation, and research can help you get the money you need to pay your bills and move on with your life.