Monday, July 13, 2009


by David McCarthy

Those who attempt to settle their own personal injury claims by one-on-one negotiation with an insurance adjuster are overmatched. From what we have seen, the adjusters promise only reimbursement of medical expenses, and the do-it-yourself plaintiffs think that is a pretty fair deal.

In fact, an injured person is entitled to compensation for lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and disfigurement (if there is disfigurement). Will there be some permanent disability? Will the plaintiff ever be as able and healthy as before? That is compensable.

Will the pain continue into the future? Is additional medical care reasonably certain to be needed in the future? All that is compensable. Don't settle for mere reimbursement of medical expenses.

A recent telephone inquiry revealed the wisdom of seeking legal counsel early. A would-be plaintiff decided she wanted to sue because arthritis was developing at the sites of her injuries. All this surfaced two days before the pertinent statute of limitations expired. Not enough time.

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