By Ben Sessions on December 28th, 2021 in
How do you settle your personal injury case without a lawyer? If you have been hurt and you are considering trying to settle your personal injury claim, there are some basic things that you need to know. First, it is possible to do this. There are many clients that we either turn away because the injuries would not make it reasonable for us to be involved in the case, or the medical expenses far exceed the available insurance limits. In those cases, we work to try to assist those people in resolving their claims. Below are some of the ground rules that you should be aware of if you are going to try to settle your personal injury case:
- You must know your total medical expenses. If you settle your injury case without knowing the total amount of your medical bills, you are leaving money on the table.
- Make sure that you know whether you have medical payments coverage policy available under your car insurance policy/policies. This first-party insurance can significantly help in paying for treatment and is often under-utilized by lawyers – there’s a financial incentive for lawyers to avoid use of the med-pay benefits unfortunately.
- If you settle a personal injury case, you must know whether Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, Peachcare, or any other public benefits programs paid medical expenses on your behalf. If medical bills were paid through a public benefits program, you may be required to reimburse the public benefits program for the payments made on your behalf.
- Do not settle your personal injury case without having a lien check performed.
- If you settle a personal injury case, you must know whether medical bills were paid on your behalf by an ERISA plan of insurance. You will have to reimburse the plan from the accident settlement.
- Do not settle a personal injury case without knowing the available liability insurance policy limits.
- If your case has medical expenses that far exceed the liability limits of the at-fault driver, you need to take steps to make sure that there is no other insurance coverage available to the driver.
- If your case has medical expenses that far exceed the liability limits of the at-fault driver, you need to take steps to make sure that the driver was not driving in the course of his employment.
- A release can be made orally or in writing. Do not provide a general release to an insurer in connection with the settlement of your property damage claim that may release your personal/bodily injury claims.
- Learn the difference in a general and limited-liability release.
- Property damage claims are separate from personal/bodily injury claims. Make sure that you do not release your personal/bodily injury claims in a general release for the property damage claim.
- All insurance companies must receive time notice of the claim if you hope to be paid by them.
- Be sure to give uninsured/underinsured motorist carriers notice of the claim.
- Notifying the other party’s insurance company of the incident does not satisfy the statute of limitations.
- You must file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date of the incident in most personal injury cases. Failure to do so will forever prevent you from obtaining a recovery.
- Be sure to serve uninsured/underinsured motorist carriers with the lawsuit.
Does this all seem a little overwhelming? Are you worried that you may be leaving money on the table? Call a personal injury attorney at Sessions & Fleischman today for a free case evaluation and consultation.