If you choose to file an insurance claim yourself after an injury accident, you could negotiate pain and suffering damages without a lawyer by providing clear supporting documentation to prove your losses. You will also need to send a demand letter to the insurance company and prepare to counter their challenges to your claim.
While many victims choose to negotiate smaller claims without the aid of personal injury attorneys, most of these cases typically involve minor injuries and losses. The insurance company could refuse to offer you a fair settlement or accept your claim for pain and suffering damages. In this case, you could contact an injury lawyer and ask them to step in at that point.
Steps to Take When Negotiating a Settlement with an Insurance Company
You should take the following steps to file an insurance claim and begin the negotiation process:
Document Your Losses
This may include documentation of your economic losses (medical bills, out-of-pocket purchases for medical devices, and more) as well as losses related to your pain and suffering.
Because your pain and suffering often relates to the severity of your injuries, a doctor’s notes about the extent of your pain can be helpful documentation. If you kept a pain journal detailing the effects of the injury on your day-to-day life, this could also serve as evidence.
Calculate the Value of Your Pain and Suffering
This will likely be the most challenging aspect of your negotiation, as there are several ways to calculate pain and suffering damages. For instance, you can determine a daily rate representing your level of suffering and multiply it by your days of inconvenience due to the injury.
Gather Evidence to Prove Liability
If you were in a car accident or another type of accident where a report was filed, get a copy of this report. This may be a police report or an accident report at a store, if you had a slip and fall. Any witness statements you can provide may also build your case.
Send a Demand Letter to the Offender’s Insurance Provider
The demand letter should detail why the insurer should be held liable for your injuries, the extent of your suffering, the economic losses you faced, and other various hardships you have endured since the accident.
Depending on the amount of compensation you are looking to receive and the type of accident you were involved in, settlement negotiations can entail a great deal of back-and-forth.
You could face pushback from the insurer as they attempt to lower your potential settlement value or challenge the validity of your claim, especially if you represent yourself.
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You Can Seek Out a Lawyer If Your Case Becomes Too Challenging
If you feel overwhelmed at any point, remember that a personal injury lawyer could ease your burden. Our injury attorneys can provide accident victims with:
- Legal guidance
- Investigative assistance
- Negotiation services
- Representation during civil litigation
We are Ready to Protect You Against Forceful or Dishonest Insurance Adjusters
Our injury lawyers have experience negotiating insurance claims. So, we know how claims for pain and suffering are valued and can demonstrate all the evidence the insurance company will require.
Our team is also familiar with unfair or aggressive tactics an insurance company may use to lower your settlement, such as:
- Claiming your pain and your injuries are not as severe as they are.
- Claiming their client was not liable for your accident and injuries.
- Claiming that you were more responsible than you truly were.
We know how to counter these claims and seek the best possible results for you.
Other Important Steps to Take to Support Your Claim for Pain and Suffering
The most important thing to do after an accident is to document the circumstances surrounding the event. That means taking pictures and video of the accident scene and documenting any damage to your body or property. Ultimately, you should try gathering as much evidence as possible, immediately after the crash and in the days and weeks to come.
Further, consider doing the following in the aftermath of your accident:
- Seek treatment immediately after the crash and as recommended by a doctor in the ensuing weeks and months. If you neglect to attend important appointments, the insurance company could claim that you made your own suffering worse.
- When receiving medical treatment of any kind, remember to carefully catalog your receipts, bills, and hospital records.
- If possible, avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance provider in any capacity while you are recovering. If you provide them with a statement, they may use your words to doubt the severity of your pain and suffering.
- Keep track of the statute of limitations on your personal injury claim.
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Indiana Limits Your Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the state of Indiana, the statute of limitations on your claim will range depending on the type of case you are filing and the specific entity you are making a claim against. For instance, under Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, most personal injury cases are governed by a two-year statute of limitations.
As detailed under Indiana Code § 34-13-3-5, if you decide to file a lawsuit against a local government organization, including cities and counties, you would have 180 days to file a claim.
Regarding cases brought against the state of Indiana, Indiana Code § 34-13-3-6 states that you have to file notice with the attorney general or state agency within 270 days of the accident.
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Our Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help You Seek Pain and Suffering Damages
If you run into complications when representing yourself – that is, if your claim is denied, unfairly valued, or you have other issues—we can step in to help. Our lawyers could proceed with negotiations and come to a fair outcome. Our team can also take your case to trial to seek what you deserve.
We know injury cases can take many forms. That is why our attorneys practice in numerous areas of personal injury law, including:
- Defective products
- Motor vehicle accidents, such as car and truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability
- Construction site injuries
- Dog bite cases
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
- And more
We have locations in Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Greenwood, Evansville, Jeffersonville, and Noblesville to better serve you.
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You don’t have to negotiate pain and suffering without a lawyer. We only get paid if we receive a settlement for you. There is no risk involved in seeking our legal help.