Here’s the third part in my series on how insurance adjusters work through the claims process for Bellingham accident victims. You’ve read how insurance adjusters investigate claims. Then how they deny or reduce them. The third thing accident victims so often find in the claims process is that insurance adjusters devalue claims by challenging future expenses.
If a defendant is found negligent and responsible in an accident, the defendant is also responsible for compensating all future financial losses which are attributable to their negligent conduct. Examples of this are when a victim’s future earning potential is decreased due to the injuries sustained in the accident. Future medical expenses, long-term nursing care, and any other costs which are the direct result of the accident. Of course, many of these calculations are subjective. They are based on projected outcomes, as they have not yet actually been incurred by the victim.
Another piece of the personal injury claim process is the statute of limitations. Every claim is subject to this, though the time will vary state to state. An accident victim’s medical treatment and accident-related expenses must fall within the statute of limitations or be projected estimates of what they will be in the future, after the statute of limitations has run out. Often this process necessitates expert witness testimony. Medical experts may be required to testify about the surgeries, rehabilitative services, or other medical expenses which will be required over the years as a result of the accident. In determining the cost of future earning potential, an injury victim may need to hire an economist to provide testimony on these factors.
Insurance Adjusters Challenge Medical Treatment Necessity
Lastly, a claims adjuster will pick apart the cost or necessity of medical treatment the accident victim obtained. A trip to the ER or surgery center is common after a car accident and harder to dispute. But chiropractic care, massage therapy, and or acupuncture are often disputed by insurance companies. Yet they are increasingly found to be effective treatment for common car accident-caused injuries and so many accident victims report feeling better after these treatments. Does this mean that accident victims are bound to what the insurance company decides to be the right type and duration of medical treatment? No. If need be, these costs can be submitted to litigation so that a judge or jury can determine whether they were necessary.
It can feel daunting to consider litigation to get back what you feel is due to you. And while litigation can take time, money and energy, sometimes it’s the only way to achieve a fair, full and fast result in a personal injury case. The more experienced and skilled your lawyer, the quicker a case can resolve, and with higher compensation. Here are some case results where our team at Bill Coats Law used our skills and experience to get results for our Bellingham personal injury clients.