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When someone is at fault for causing personal injury to you, your claims are paid under the insurance policy of the person at fault. Depending on the case, this could be the car insurance policy or the homeowner’s insurance policy. If a business caused your injury, then the business general commercial liability policy and possibly the business umbrella policy will pay your claim.

If you have an extended warranty on your vehicle, you must contact the dealership to make sure that you are refunded the unused portion of the premium you paid for it.

The majority of cases we handle are settled without having to go to court. Settlements occur when an insurance company realizes that it will lose in court and must offer a sum large enough to provide a fair recovery to the victim. Sometimes the insurance company refuses to make any offer or refuses to make a fair offer. When this happens, we are lucky to have access to the courts. Having to face a jury is what keeps the insurance companies in line.

Generally, if you were injured because someone was careless, you do. This applies to injuries that are caused by a reckless driver, a dangerous product, an employer that disables a guard and a store that has a dangerous sidewalk. If someone else is at fault and injures you, then you probably have a case.

Not everyone who is in an accident needs a lawyer. If your medical bills are less than $1,000, and your injuries have completely healed within thirty days or so then you can probably handle your case on your own. If you are going to handle it on your own you should contact the insurance company for the at fault driver, get the name and phone number of the adjuster. You can then call the adjuster and discuss your claim. In your discussion of your claim with the adjuster you are entitled to have the insurance company pay you to make up for your losses, including your pain and suffering.

Get as much evidence as possible. It is very important to document the evidence as early as possible.

  • Photograph the accident scene.
  • Measure the length of any skid marks or gouge marks in the roadway.
  • Photograph the interiors and exteriors of all vehicles involved in the accident. [Note: If you believe the injuries to you or your passengers were caused by a defect in your vehicle, such as the failure of an air bag to deploy or the collapse of your seat back, it is crucial that your vehicle not even be repaired or destroyed, until an automotive design expert has inspected it.]
  • Get the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident or who arrived at the scene shortly after.
  • Check all road signs and markings at the accident scene to ensure that they meet Traffic Code Standards.

In addition to proving someone else was at fault, you need to document evidence of the injuries sustained by you and your passengers. To document damages you should:

  • Photograph all areas of visible injury as soon as possible and take additional photographs during the recovery process to show the stages of recovery.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible after the accident and describe every area where you are experiencing pain or having other problems.
  • Keep receipts for all of your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident.
  • Track all the time your family or friends spent helping you, so that they can be reimbursed at the successful conclusion of your claim.

Remember, the insurance company employs the claims adjusters. They are professionals. It’s the insurance adjuster’s job to pay as little as possible in order to pad the insurance company’s profits. You are not on a level playing field. You have no idea of what a fair settlement would be, giving the adjuster an unfair advantage. The insurance company will want to record your statement by coming to your house or recording your phone call. The insurance adjuster wants to record your statement not to help you but to be able to use your words against you later. We recommend that you not give any statements until you have met with an attorney who can inform you of your legal rights.

When you are in an accident, the police file a report that lists your phone number and address. The accident report is a public record and that means anyone who bothers to look can get your name and phone number. The result is that there are now companies engaged in ambulance chasing, wanting to profit from your having been in an accident. Some of these companies are paid to recruit patients for chiropractors. The caller may claim that an appointment has been set up for you by an insurance company or that there is a free appointment to evaluate your injuries. Some will even claim that the chiropractor will get a lawyer for you.

The best advice when dealing with anyone calling you after an accident is to be very careful. There are lots of very fine chiropractors who will accept patients who were injured in car accidents who do not use companies engaged in ambulance chasing. If you are in an accident and are in pain and want to see a chiropractor, you can call your family doctor to see who they recommend or use your phone or computer to look at online reviews. If you get a call claiming that a medical or chiropractor appointment has been made for you, you may want to contact an attorney to get legal advice.

  • Photograph all areas of visible injury as soon as possible and take additional photographs during the recovery process to show the stages of recovery.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible after the accident and describe every area where you are experiencing pain or having other problems. This is extremely important! For example, if you fractured your leg in the accident, you may feel the most pain in your leg, but also notice your back hurts. It’s very important that you tell your doctors about your back pain as well. It’s possible that your back is injured and may continue to be a problem long after you recover from your broken leg. If you don’t have your doctor document your back pain, the insurance company will try to claim that your back injury is not a result of the accident.
  • Keep receipts for all of your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident. For example, gas spent traveling to and from the hospital and doctor’s office, hotel and meal expenses, any medical supplies, bandages, rental of hospital beds, etc.
  • Track all the time your family or friends spent helping you, so that they can be reimbursed at the successful conclusion of your claim. For example, a family member takes time off work to drive you to the doctor, or if they help you with your household chores.

Even if you only feel shook up, you should get medical treatment at the emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible. After an accident, you are going to have a lot of adrenaline pumping, which may mask injuries. Lots of times you think you are okay, only to have serious pain later. You may have broken bones, an injury to a disc in your back or neck, a torn rotator cuff, or tear of the labrum of the hip. Many of these serious injuries start off with relatively little pain. People with serious injuries often start out thinking it’s just a bruise or a minor strain.

After the emergency room or urgent care, if your pain gets worse, you must see your family doctor or go back to the emergency room because a more serious injury may have been missed at your first visit.

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Rinehardt Injury Attorneys
8351 N. High St, Ste 251,
Columbus, OH 43235
Phone Number: (614) 686-2020
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