Some people are savvy veterans of the Maryland personal injury case world. Others are new to the process. Either way, understanding the injury claim process can increase your compensation and reduce your frustration.
First, understand that it is a process and that for the most part it isn't personal. You may be badly injured and you and your family may be suffering economic hardship but the insurance company has certain requirements for documentation and proof that will not be waived. If you have a broken leg and can't work, the medical records and bills that support this must be obtained from the various healthcare providers and forwarded to the insurance adjuster.
If you have lost time from work as a result of the hypothetical broken leg, the insurance adjuster will require documentation from your employer and often will seek provision of tax records from previous years to support your wage loss claim.
If your broken leg leaves you with a permanent injury or impairment, a doctor will have to spell this out in no uncertain terms.
Thus, it is important to understand that settlement of your claim will not happen quickly. Yes, it sometimes seems insurance companies are being a pain in seeking, for example, prior medical records to ensure you didn't hurt your leg somewhere else but that is what they do.
Consequently, it is important that you understand that other possible sources of short and medium term benefits may have to tide you through until a settlement or in the cases that go to trial, a verdict is obtained.
Victims of car and truck crashes often have recourse to personal injury protection benefits, medpay, workers compensation, short-term and long-term disability. If you are hurt it can be vitally important that you look into these coverages even if they only provide limited financial benefits.
People suffer considerable hardship in many instances but one does not want to settle a case prematurely, as once a case is settled there is no going back for more. Also, understand that representing yourself may seem like a good way to save paying a percentage of your claim to a lawyer but often produces calamitous results.
Innocent admissions can tank your case particularly in Maryland or the District of Columbia where the law of contributory negligence exists. Insurance adjusters love to take recorded statements from accident victims and then coax out holes in the claimant's description of the crash or incident.
The bottom-line, if you are the victim of a personal injury incident, at least talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer so you can understand how to avoid sinking your case from the start.
Tomorrow: Chapter Two: Liability or Legal Responsibility