A North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Explains Why
After a bad car accident, one of the first questions victims hear isn't usually - "How much are your medical bills?" The first question most injured people will hear is some variation of "Are you in pain? How can I help?"
That's because when it comes down to recovering from a serious car crash or another type of accident, people are more concerned with how their injuries will affect their quality of life over the cost of their medical expenses.
Yet when insurance adjusters and some car accident attorneys calculate the value of a personal injury claim, they mistakenly use the cost of the victim's short-term medical bills as a large part of the claim's value.
Personal injury claims are often the result of accidents such as slip and falls, premises liability, dog bites, wrongful death, and defective products. Although they are often treated separately, traffic accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.) can also result in personal injury claims.
When calculating the total value of a personal injury claim, insurance adjusters and car accident attorneys need to put less emphasis on short-term medical expenses and more emphasis on the way an accident has temporarily and permanently impacted the person's life.
Focus on Life, Not Medical Bills
In general, there are two ways an accident victim can recover money for their injuries and losses: a negotiated settlement with an insurance company or a favorable court verdict.
Lawyers and insurance adjusters try to predict the amount of money a jury would determine to be the fair value of the claim. Settlement negotiations depend upon what each party feels a jury would likely set as damages.
Most insurance companies and lawyers consider medical bills to be the most important factor in calculating the value of a personal injury claim.
Damages for which a victim may seek compensation include:
- Medical bills
- Decreased range of motion, reduced body function
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment
- Property repairs or replacement
- Diminished earning potential
- Mental anguish or illness
- Physical and other therapies
- Future accident-related treatments
Emphasis on Lifestyle, Goals
Focusing on just the cost of medical bills is the exact opposite of what the average person considers when determining the seriousness of injuries like:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Knee and shoulder joint injuries
- Hip pain
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Increased levels of anxiety and depression (possibly developing into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD)
At Brent Adams & Associates, we consider the cost of medical bills to be a minor part of the evaluation of a personal injury case. That's why we stress to the insurance companies and jurors that factors such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, limitation of motion, and mental and emotional stress and suffering, are much more important than medical bills.
We Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Our law firm obtains settlements and jury verdicts for our clients by emphasizing the important factors of the damages, those factors which mean the most to an injured person.
If you would like for one of our car accident attorneys to give you our opinion concerning the amount that you should demand from the insurance company, we will be happy to speak with you.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer. Our offices are located in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn, and Clinton.