Quite often, a person who has been injured by someone else’s negligence may attempt to resolve their claim on their own without the assistance of an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Little Rock AR can count on, especially in the initial stages of the matter. In the event you are a Pro Se Plaintiff and are hoping to resolve your claim without the assistance of an attorney, this article will help you present your claim in the most favorable light to the claims adjuster handling your claim with the insurance company.
It cannot go without being said that handling a claim on your own is often very risky, not only due to the fact that Pro Se Plaintiffs are unfamiliar with the pitfalls and the process, but they lack the experience to be able to properly value a claim. Nonetheless, if you desire to present a claim on your own, you must first consider liability.
If the other person is the responsible party without a doubt, you should be careful not to discount your damages if the claims adjuster seeks to discount the claim based on contributory or comparative negligence. If your injuries are clearly 100% the fault of their insured, don’t allow them to reduce the value of your claim.
When presenting your past medical expenses, you should create a well organized table that includes columns for the dates of service for each medical provider, the amount charged for each visit, the amount covered by your insurance or other carrier, the amount outstanding, and the amounts you have paid out of pocket. Depending on your jurisdiction, there are very complex issues in regard to the amount charged versus the amount paid each medical provider.
You should be able to clearly show that the medical expenses incurred were a direct result of the negligence of their insured. For instance, if you hurt your lower back but submit medical bills from a visit about a shoulder impingement that appears to be unrelated to the accident, you can bet they’ll balk.
Proving future medicals can be somewhat more difficult. Depending on your jurisdiction, you will have to provide proof from a medical professional that you will likely incur medical expenses into the future. In the event you have lost wages, providing proof thereof is important. Likewise, showing a lost earning capacity will require a professional to provide the necessary proof of lost earning capacity.
Your non-economic damages, including mental anguish, loss of household services, and pain and suffering, are more difficult to prove to a claims adjuster. You will need to provide a detailed synopsis of your damages in an effort to obtain full value of how the injuries have changed your everyday routine and life.
I would advise against going down this road without an attorney. However, following these guidelines will help in the event you decide to do it on your own. You should consider hiring a veteran trial lawyer who has experience in presenting claims to insurance companies with the threat of filing suit.
Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into insurance settlements.