What Should I Do While Waiting to Receive a Personal Injury Settlement?

March 22, 2022
What Should I Do While Waiting to Receive a Personal Injury Settlement?

Getting Compensation for Damages After Suffering a Personal Injury

Personal injuries can leave the victim with a mountain of debt. Not only do they have to take care of their medical expenses, but they also have to account for wages lost during their recovery from serious injuries and the psychological toll personal injuries can have. In 2021, 50% of Americans had outstanding medical debt. This is why a personal injury attorney is paramount for victims of accidents with serious injuries. With the help of a committed attorney, you can potentially receive a settlement that can ease the burden of your financial situation.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim

If your insurance doesn't cover the full cost of your medical expenses, you can file a personal injury claim. Before you can file, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to help walk you through what you could be owed. Personal injury claims require severe injuries. Otherwise, your insurance could cover the expenses, and you wouldn't need more money from the liable party's insurance provider. You also need to be able to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. The process of a personal injury claim involves the following:
  • Assessing your injuries
  • Determining how much compensation you require
  • Sending out a demand letter to the insurance company of the liable party
  • Filing a personal injury complaint with an official court
  • Information discovery by the attorneys
  • Negotiating a settlement or taking the case to court

What is the Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Case?

How long after an accident you can make a personal injury claim depends on what type of accident caused the injury.  According to Florida Statute 95.11, an action founded on negligence has a statute of limitations of four years. That would account for most personal injury claims, including car accidents. But, an accident caused by professional malpractice has a statute of limitations of two years. No matter what type of accident caused your injuries, the timer for the statute of limitations begins on the day of the accident.

When Should You Settle a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is all about getting the right amount of compensation for not only your medical bills but also the pain and suffering you had to endure because of somebody else's negligence. During your negotiation with the at-fault party's insurance company, offers will be made to end the legal proceedings. It's important not to accept the first offer because the insurance company may be trying to escape liability quickly with a lowball offer. Research what amount the insurance company's policy covers for your type of accident to avoid a bad settlement. Your attorney can help determine what is fair compensation for your type of personal injury. Once you reach a number that compensates you for the expenses you incurred and the pain and suffering you had to endure, you can settle. 

What Types of Damages Can You Receive for a Personal Injury Claim?

There are two major types of damages you can receive in a successful personal injury claim: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are compensation paid out to compensate for loss, injury, or harm caused by the defendant's negligence. The design of compensatory damages is to restore the victim to the position they were in before the accident. These can include:
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Replacement or repair of damaged items
Punitive damages are excess damages charged to the liable party to dissuade them and others from ever committing an act like this again. These types of damages are only applied in extreme cases that need to set a precedent.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Your Personal Injury Settlement?

Once the claim is settled, the length of time it takes to get your damage payout depends on your state's processing period.  In the state of Florida, settlement checks are required to be tendered within twenty days after a settlement is reached unless a different period is specifically decided by the victim and insurer. A breach of this agreement will incur a 12% increase for every year after the settlement date.

Keep In Contact With Your Lawyer and Insurance Company While You Wait to Receive Your Personal Injury Settlement

After a settlement has been reached, you will need to keep in constant communication with the principal parties involved in your personal injury claim. You need to keep in contact with your lawyer, the liable party, and the insurance company.  Delivering necessary information will keep the process moving along smoothly. You can only know what is needed by keeping in touch with the principal parties.

Insurance Companies Operating in Bad Faith

In the case of an issue along the way, it's important to have a record of all communication done during the claim and settlement period. The insurance company for the at-fault party may operate in bad faith. This refers to when the insurance company tries to get away with paying less than the agreed-upon amount for your damages. In some cases, the insurance company will refuse to pay at all, introducing roadblocks to keep you from receiving your compensation. Keeping a dated record of all communication will come in handy in case more legal proceedings need to take place to get a bad faith insurance company to pay what you are rightfully owed.

Avoid Discussing Specifics of Your Personal Injury Case With Unrelated Parties

When it comes to your personal injury claim, the only person you should confide specific details to is your lawyer. You may want to rant about the process of the claim or the time it's taking to receive your settlement, but these details are confidential. The wrong piece of information reaching the wrong hands can jeopardize your settlement. It's also important to avoid social media. Any behavior that shows your injuries are not having a large effect on your life can be used as evidence to delay the settlement by an insurance company operating in bad faith.

Continue Medical Treatment for Your Personal Injury

Just because the legal element of your personal injury claim is nearing its end doesn't mean your journey is over. You are likely to still have lingering injuries. Serious injuries that lead to personal injury settlements can take a long time to heal. Continuing with any medical treatments needed for your injuries is a good way to keep your mind off the settlement. It will also show the at-fault party's insurance company that you are doing everything within your power to recover from your serious injuries. This can help expedite the process and remove one way an insurance company can operate in bad faith.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim if you have suffered a personal injury with a clear liable party. At Dolman Law Group, we have savvy attorneys that can guide you through the steps of a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys are shaped by experience and will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you are entitled to. Need a free consultation to go over your personal injury claim? Get in touch with Dolman Law Group today by giving us a call at 727-451-6900 or leaving us a message on our online contact page.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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