Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the type and amount of insurance coverage that the defense has will largely determine the outcome of your claim and final settlement if you’re involved in a personal injury accident. You generally tend to exchange insurance information with the defendant. The insurance adjuster will then resolve the claim and decide on the final settlement amount.
Does the defendant have coverage for your personal injury?
Your lawyer will tell you that your settlement amount will be zero if the defendant is uninsured. So, if you’re involved in a car accident, and the other driver is at fault, make sure that he or she carries car insurance before filing a claim. The same applies if you slip and fall in a commercial or residential building or are bitten by a dog.
Of course, you can still get a settlement if the defendant is either uninsured or was a hit-and-run driver. You’ll just be getting the settlement from your own insurance company. But having a good and experienced lawyer in your corner helps you to get maximum compensation.
How does the coverage amount affect a personal injury claim?
Personal injury lawyers know that coverage amount affects personal injury claims, especially in car accidents where you suffered from minor injuries and damages. Your settlement amount may only be a few hundred dollars because the defendant’s insurance adjuster knows that you would likely be awarded a small amount of settlement money by a jury, if your case ever went to trial.
The same is true if the defendant has a very low coverage limit. Once the limit is exhausted, there can be no other avenues for obtaining a greater settlement amount. Thus, it is important to talk with a lawyer before you agree on the claim settlement. The legal professionals are aware of the fact that insurance companies try to low ball you and that is one of the reasons to allow them to handle the negotiations.
What if you have to settle with your own insurance company?
Personal injury lawyers in Kitchener know that you’ll be relying on your own first-party and second-party insurance coverages if the defendant is either uninsured or underinsured. Your health insurance policy will treat your injuries as first-party injuries while your underinsured motorist coverage will treat your damages as third-party damages.
That is the insurance and policy limits that the defendant has will largely determine if you receive a settlement and what the amount will be. You may have to be creative and turn to other avenues if the defendant is either uninsured or underinsured.Consult with a lawyer to know more about it.