If you've been hurt in a Dallas-Fort Worth accident and someone else was at-fault, you're entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries. But how much compensation, exactly? As you're dealing with the insurance company, how can you be sure they'll give you a fair deal?
How Much Is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?
If you want to be sure that the insurance company is offering you a fair settlement, you should first estimate the value of your case. I've written extensively on the subject - you can find that article here.
Essentially, you'll need to answer six basic questions to get a feel for how much your case is worth.
- Who caused the accident?
- Did you go straight to the doctor?
- Have you followed all of your doctor's orders?
- How serious are your injuries?
- Did you miss work because of the accident?
- How strong is your evidence?
Depending on your answers, the value of your case could vary. For an in-depth look at each of these questions, head on over to my page on "How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?"
Just remember - if you were hurt in an accident that was someone else's fault, you deserve to be fully compensated for all of your expenses, including medical bills, lost work wages from missed days, damage to your vehicle or other personal belongings, plus money to compensate you for the pain and suffering the accident put you through.
If the insurance company's settlement offer isn't going to cover all of that, they're likely not giving you a fair offer.
What You're Entitled To Under Texas Law
Under Texas law, accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for their physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium and loss of services.
As you can see, the law gives you the right to recover compensation for more than just medical bills. You should also be paid for future expenses (like ongoing physical therapy) and for emotional costs, too.
If the Insurance Company Offered You a Fast Settlement, It's Probably Not Fair
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it does create some skewed incentives; the less money they pay you, the more they get to keep for themselves.
For this reason, insurance agents are taught to apply some sneaky tactics to settle your claim for less than it's really worth. A common example? Fast settlements.
Insurance adjusters want to settle your case quickly before you're done healing and before you can accurately determine full impact of the accident might be on your finances. So, for instance, if you settle your case for $10,000 but later learn you need a $15,000 surgery on an injury that didn't initially appear that bad, it's too late. Once you accept a settlement check, you can't go back for more money. You will only ever get one check from the insurance company, so it essential that you make sure it's for everything you deserve.
If the insurance adjuster wants to settle your case quickly (especially if they visit you in the hospital), it should be a red flag. They know your case is worth a lot, and they want to settle before you realize it too.
If The Insurance Company Is Stalling, It Could Also Bode Trouble
Wait a minute. If the insurance adjuster acts quickly it's bad, but if they stall it's also bad? Yes, you read that right. If an adjuster missed their "quick settlement" timeframe, they might do the complete opposite - stall, avoid your phone calls, ignore your emails and drag their feet.
Their delay tactics are intended to provoke one of three possible results:
- You get frustrated enough to give up on your claim altogether and walk away.
- You're fed up and decide to accept ANY offer just to get it over with, even if the offer is much less money than you deserve.
- You keep waiting long enough that the stature of limitations passes without you even knowing it. (This is the deadline by which all personal injury claims are required to be either settled or filed as a lawsuit in the state of Texas. If you miss the statute of limitations, your legal right to compensation is forfeited).
Discover the True Value of Your Claim
You didn’t ask to be injured and you deserve to be fully compensated for the damage and pain your accident has caused you.
Regardless of whether you have already been approached by the insurance company or not, it's always a good idea to seek a free, no obligation consultation with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to get an accurate and honest assessment of what your case is worth. Having your own lawyer guarantees that you will be treated fairly.
Call the Anderson Law Firm at 817-294-1900.
Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:
Personal Injury Compensation Damages
Giving the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement
Bullied By The Insurance Adjustor
Information on Hospital Liens
Hiring a Lawyer in Fort Worth