4 Factors Insurance Companies Use To Evaluate Personal Injury Claims
When you suffer injuries because of another person’s negligence, the expenses and losses can add up quickly. Fortunately, in South Carolina, after suffering injuries and damages because of another person’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent party and recover compensation. If you recently sustained an injury because of another person’s negligence and are considering filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party, you are likely wondering how insurance companies evaluate personal injury claims. This article discusses four factors insurance companies use to assess personal injury claims.
Whether You Have a Personal Injury Attorney
One of the main things the at-fault party’s insurance company might consider when evaluating the value of your injury claim is whether you have an attorney. Usually, insurance companies view unrepresented parties as an opportunity to settle a claim for less than it is worth. Someone without legal representation likely does not know how to value their claim.
If you have an attorney, the insurance company will consider whether your attorney is experienced. You will likely be disadvantaged if your attorney does not have experience handling personal injury claims. For this reason, it is not enough that you hire an attorney. You need to ensure you hire an experienced attorney.
Whether You Have a Pre-existing Injury
If you have a pre-existing injury, it does not mean you cannot recover compensation in your injury claim. If you suffered a new injury to the same body part or the accident aggravated your previous injury, you are entitled to compensation. The “eggshell skull” provides that a victim be taken as they are without speculating on what could have occurred if they hadn’t been more susceptible to injury than others. However, you can expect that the insurance company will try to use your pre-existing injury against you to devalue or deny your claim.
That said, if you have a pre-existing injury, it’s in your best interest to share this information with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Hiding a pre-existing injury from the insurance company will only work against you. If the insurance company discovers you hid a pre-existing injury from them, they will attack your credibility and maybe even the validity of your claim.
Whether You Are Partially at Fault
Another factor insurance companies use to evaluate personal injury claims is whether a claimant is also to blame for their injury. According to South Carolina law, a plaintiff is eligible for financial compensation if they are less than 51% to blame for their injury. If the insurance company determines you are partially to blame for your injury, they might offer you way less than you deserve. An experienced attorney can ensure you recover what you deserve. For example, if you are 20% to blame for your injury, an attorney can ensure you recover 80% of the damages incurred and nothing less than that.
The insurance company may use your criminal record, prior medical history, social media accounts, or even your driving record against you. Any negative information obtained may be used to attack your credibility and maybe even the validity of your claim.
Contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm
If you’ve suffered an injury because of another person’s negligence in SC and need help seeking compensation, contact our skilled and dedicated Charleston personal injury lawyer at the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm.