This is the next post in our series on dealing with insurance companies during Hartford, Connecticut personal injury cases. Our last article discussed the process of dealing with insurance adjusters after an accident. It is important for victims to remember that adjusters represent the interests of the insurance companies and not the injured. By retaining an attorney to protect your interests, you help to protect yourself against the possibility of receiving a “low ball” settlement. In this article we will discuss a topic which can often cause a certain level of confusion and frustration – the fact that injury cases can take a significant amount of time to reach settlement. If you are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with a lawyer.
As we discussed in our last article, a victim’s future medical prognosis and damages must be reasonably ascertained before a demand letter can be sent to the insurance company. The reason for this is straightforward – settlements constitute a final resolution of the matter. This means that if a victim settles for an amount which is less than their future medical expenses and lost wages, they will not have a way to recover the difference. This concept is best explained by way of example. Suppose a victim suffers a neck injury and has difficulty with their movement. They believe, however, that they will recover with physical therapy and that they will be able to return to work in the near future. They accept a low settlement amount to put the matter behind them. As time goes on, however, it becomes clear that the victim needs surgery. After the surgery, it is clear that the victim will never regain their full range of motion and is now partially disabled. Obviously, such a victim’s losses, as well as their pain and suffering, is extreme. Given that they settled the case, they will not be able to seek compensation for these losses.
As shown in the foregoing example, it is better for a victim to not seek a settlement until they know the extent of their damages. To reach this goal, your attorney will stay in regular contact with your treating physicians regarding the status of your treatment. If necessary, counsel will also retain rehabilitative and medical experts to offer opinions as to the extent you can be expected to make a recovery and how long that recovery may take. Counsel can also retain a vocational expert to help determine how the injury has impacted your long-term financial future. Such an expert will offer opinions of the extent, if any, to which you can be expected to return to work, the extent to which you have lost earnings, and more. Once a more long-term understanding of your situation is available, your lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurer. If a settlement cannot be reached then your counsel will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
While it is understandable that you wish to put this matter behind you and move on, it is important to recognize that accepting a quick settlement today can greatly damage your future. By retaining qualified counsel, and ensuring that the process is handled properly from beginning to end, you help to ensure that future economic and medical needs are met. Our Hartford injury attorneys have been representing individuals in our area for decades and we take great pride in the level of service which we offer. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also serve the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.