An accident happened. You drove home from a family reunion and were hit by another driver. Shortly after the claim is settled your son begins having seizures. There’s a pain or tightness in your neck that begins throbbing. Within a few weeks, you’ve developed regular headaches. What are your options? How do you proceed if the resale value on your car plummets because of apparent collision repair?
After settling a claim with an insurance company, you will typically have to sign a release. A release is a document stating that no further legal action may be taken regarding the settled accident. If you didn’t sign a release and a large problem arises after a claim has been settled, you may have some options.
If you did sign a release, or don’t know if you did, contact a personal injury lawyer to review the documentation regarding the previous settlement. There may be other options open to you.
Know Your Obstacles When Talking Medical
From the company’s perspective, their fault is inversely proportional to time. The longer it took for the pain to develop after the crash, the smaller the chance they will feel they should be held liable for injury. Instead of assuming latent manifestation the insurers may think a person is faking an injury, or that the cause is something other than the accident.
You will probably need to retain a doctor or expert with knowledge of the injury. If the injury proves chronic, this investment will be necessary to help you get a larger claim payout.
The Crash Lowered Your Car Value
Diminished value claims is a type of claim that reimburses the victim for the price depreciation on a vehicle resulting from a collision. Car resale value can plummet as a result of collision repair, a point that can be “forgotten” by auto insurance companies. Many owners don’t realize how drastic this loss is until they try to resell or trade the vehicle back in. The value can drop by as much as half the vehicle’s pre-accident worth.
Diminished value claims are nearly impossible to file if you are the at-fault driver. If you are the victim, consider the cost of the vehicle. An older car with high-mileage wouldn’t be worth the effort to pursue a claim on. If your vehicle is newer, however, it may be worthwhile. Remember that all dealerships and most private buyers will look up the vehicle’s accident history before a sale.
Reach Out to an Expert
Finding proper legal counsel is important. Approaching an insurance company with a first-time claim can be difficult. However, the odds are much higher than the second claim will be met with resistance or brought to court. At this stage, you need a lawyer’s help.
Consult an attorney to get a better understanding of the legal scope of your problem. If the problems are medical, how long will they persist? What is the cost? Sometimes court fees are larger than the cost of the problem. Be sure you approach your attorney with as much documentation as you can provide, including doctor evaluations, vehicle appraisals, and whatever else you think might help. Clients are sometimes surprised at the number of choices they have.
Brian White is a leading lawyer in the southern United States. His law office is prepared to listen, provide expert feedback, and guide you in the right direction. Brian specializes in personal injury and auto accident claims. His successful track record and reputation in the Houston area are a testament to his skill. If you feel like you may have developed an injury not covered by the original claim, please contact the office of Brian White.