It is common for our injury lawyers to hear clients say “I’m not the suing type”. The truth is that no good person wants to be involved in a lawsuit, but sadly our clients did not have a choice– injury was thrust upon them unnaturally at no-fault of their own.
Due to misleading PR campaigns from lobbyists in the insurance industry, some people have a negative reaction to the phrase “personal injury” or “personal injury lawyer”— even when a personal injury lawyer can help them get through one of the most difficult times of their lives. It is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to personal injury claims.
What is a personal injury claim?
An injury claim is a legal claim made by a person who is injured because of another person or entity’s conduct – usually “negligent” conduct, which means the injury was not intentional. The law refers to the harms that result from the injuries as “damages.” Damages include harms suffered in the past and the harms that will likely be suffered in the future. Harms include physical harm (i.e. a broken bone or brain injury), emotional and psychological harm (i.e. anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder) and economic loss (i.e. wages, lost business income, and/or medical expenses).
A personal injury claim is almost always initially made to an insurance company through an adjuster. If the injury claim is not handled fairly, an injury lawsuit should be filed.
Who pays for a personal injury claim?
In almost every case, an insurance company pays for the settlement or verdict. Despite this fact, the insurance industry works hard to try to persuade the public that the person being sued pays for the lawsuit. For example, under Ohio law attorneys are prohibited from telling the jury that an insurance company is paying for the legal defense as well as the verdict – even when the insurance company is making all the decisions in that very case and trial.
The truth is that big insurance companies pay for injury settlements from the monthly insurance premiums they take from all of us. For example, even when a personal injury lawsuit is filed against “John Smith” or “John Smith’s Business”, the money paid by settlement or verdict is almost always coming from an insurance company, not the person or business that was named in the lawsuit.
Why should I file a personal injury claim?
If you have been injured at no fault of your own, you will be forced to deal with stress, anxiety, lost time, inconvenience, pain, medical bills, and many other things that occur following your injury. You should file a personal injury claim to make sure the insurance company compensates you fairly for all your losses. When a person chooses not to pursue a claim after being injured, the insurance company is the one who profits.
Do I need a lawyer?
The best injury attorneys maximize recovery by changing the way an insurance company values the claim. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) and the All Industry Research Advisory Council admit that claim decision making changes when an injured person has legal representation. In one IRC report titled “Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs,” the IRC noted that payouts are 3.5x higher for people who have a lawyer versus people who are not represented.
Call the personal injury attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers for a free consultation. We have a long track record of success helping injury victims and their families and would be honored to help your family during a time of need.