When you are attempting to settle your personal injury case early, usually prior to the initiation of litigation, you must first make an insurance claim. During this claim stage, you deal with an insurance adjuster. Generally, defense attorneys are not retained until you file suit. Insurance adjusters will not conduct an extensive investigation; rather, they will review your case and either offer to settle your case below the policy limits or refuse to settle. The information you provide to the adjuster can be used during litigation so experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers understand what information to provide the adjuster without compromising your position. However, there are certain injuries where adjusters may refuse to settle early.
Mental and Emotion Injuries
It is easier to assess the value of your case from your physical injuries by looking at your medical records and bills to determine how much pain you suffered and the severity of your injuries. Generally, there is objective evidence supporting your physical injury claim, such as photographs, x-rays, or MRIs. Mental and emotional injuries (also known as psychological injuries) are subjective and difficult to understand without proper education, training, and experience. Thus, insurance adjusters typically are unable to properly evaluate psychological injury cases.
Psychological injuries do not fit any formula adjusters may use to calculate compensation for your personal injury claim. If you are suffering from depression and anxiety that may, for example, prevent you from driving your vehicle or leaving your house, then it is nonsensical to settle your claim based solely on your physical injuries without considering your psychological health.
Psychological injuries affect people differently. Your San Antonio injury attorney’s settlement demand letter would be insufficient to convince an adjuster to consider your psychological health while evaluating your case, especially when her or she only has subjective proof. An adjuster may not appreciate the claim or the effect psychological injuries have on your behavior and quality of life.
Even if your psychological condition is understandable, the adjuster may not have authority to settle without proper testing. A defense attorney is necessary to test your claim by questioning your credibility via cross-examination during your deposition and comparing your responses with your psychiatric or psychological records. The defense attorney may also rely on the defense psychiatrist’s examination and report.
Only a formal discovery after litigation is initiated can provide support needed to convince the adjuster’s superiors that the settlement offer equates to your credibility, injuries and full value of your case. You won’t settle your case early unless the policy limit is low and it is financially feasible to settle than to engage in litigation or the circumstances motivates the insurance carrier to make an early and reasonable settlement.
Seek San Antonio Car Accident Lawyers
Consult a San Antonio injury attorney with Brylak Law at (866) 496-3815.