There are many factors that go into a valuation of a soft tissue settlement. Both the injured person and the insurance company use the available data to make an empirical calculation of value. What exactly can make or break a personal injury claim where no bones were broken or no surgery was required? This is the battlefield of soft-tissue settlements.
Soft-tissue Injuries can be Difficult to Diagnose and Treat
When we suffer from injuries to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck and back, many people experience only minor discomfort and therefore require less treatment. Others, however, may become debilitated due to these injuries.
It is important to be able to quantify the pain you are experiencing if you suffer from these types of injuries. The medical care you seek, the records that the medical professionals keep, and the types of tests that are run on your injuries will play a role in quantifying your pain.
It’s all about the medical records
Your attorney will be able to collect the appropriate medical records and present them to the insurance company in a way that highlights the pain and disability you have experienced. This is even more important in quantifying soft-tissue claims. All the medical care in the world, beneficial as it might be, will not aid your claim if it is not properly recorded and presented to the insurance adjuster.
- A note here on pre-existing conditions. If you have a previous injury, do not hide it from either your doctors or your attorney. There are ways that this information can be beneficial to your claim, but only if you fully disclose all the facts to those who are trying to help you.
You must communicate how you are feeling and how the treatment is affecting you. Do not exaggerate; this is one of the most common and fatal mistakes in personal injury negotiations. Insurance adjusters are skeptical by nature. Do not give them reason to doubt the legitimacy of your claims.
Be aware that if you are on restriction from work or other physical activities stemming from your injuries, you may be followed and video recorded by the other side, looking to paint you as a fraud. This is not uncommon, and when you deal with a reputable attorney, the insurance company is less likely to be so distrusting. However, be vigilant in obeying the doctor’s disability requirements.
What you can expect in a settlement for soft-tissue injuries
To properly evaluate your own claim and make an appropriate demand of an insurance company, an injured person should have competent attorney representation. A lawyer’s experience and expertise can be invaluable in getting the compensation you need.
The following are just a few of the variables, or “Specials” as they are called, that go into claim evaluations:
– Liability assessment: was the claimant free from or comparatively negligent?
– Amount in dollars of reasonable medical care already expended as a result of the accident
– Amount in dollars of future medical bills that can reasonably be expected as a result of injuries sustained in the accident
– Amount in dollars of property damage the accident caused (This is used mostly by insurance adjusters to disqualify injuries and their severity. Science says there is little relation.)
– Extent of any permanent disability as a result of the accident
– Amount of time lost from work
– Effect of your injuries on your personal, professional and public lives
There is no magical formula for calculation as to how these Specials work together or separately in valuation processes. Insurance adjusters are trained to keep the insurance company’s money and unless they are presented with a strong claim against their insured, they will not offer a fair settlement. If a claim is organized, well-documented and presented in such a way as to convince the insurance company of the risk of facing a jury trial, a fair offer of settlement should be given to the claimant.
A Final Note
It is important to have complete confidence in your medical practitioners and your attorney. An accident does not mean that an injured party ‘hit the lottery’. An accident is a life-altering event from which a claimant seeks to be made whole again. The lawyers at Bighorn Law know how to aggressively negotiate with the insurance company and help you to recover from the economic and other effects of an accident.