Vehicle Collision Threshold Parameters
Here at Falanga & Chalker, we know how insurance companies evaluate claims through our extensive knowledge and experience over many years of dealing with personal injury claims. Insurance companies either deny or discount claimed damages when certain facts are developed in their investigation of a personal injury claim. Most, if not all, insurance companies look at the following criteria when assessing a claim for personal injuries.1. How much was the property damage to the claimants vehicle?
Here at Falanga & Chalker, we require at least $1,500.00 in property damage to our clients vehicle before accepting to represent a personal injury client on a contingency fee arrangement. A lawyers only product is his time and knowledge. There is only so much time that an attorney can invest in personal injury claims on a contingency basis. An attorney has to weigh the financial return that he/she hopes to recover against the time that they will have to front in pursuing the personal injury claim. Will the attorneys time equal or exceed the hourly rate that the attorney could be charging if working on an hourly fee basis as opposed to the contingency fee agreement. One of those evaluations concerns the amount of the property damage. The insurance company will either get property damage photographs of the damage to the vehicles or they will acquire property damage estimates for each claim. If the vehicle doesn’t reflect enough damage to the vehicle to look like someone could have been injured in the collision, then, in that event, the insurance company will either deny the claim or substantially reduce the value of the claim. For instance, jury research indicates that insurance companies are very successful in arguing to juries that common sense tells you that no one got injured in this collision with only a few scratches on the bumper. They blow up the photograph of the slightly damaged vehicle and make this argument to the jury. Little property damage means little personal injury damages is their way of thinking. We are not saying that we agree with this logic, but it is one of the things that our law firm looks at as we know that the insurance company is also looking at the same criteria when evaluating a clients personal injury claim.2. Did the client complain of injury at the scene of the collision?
Insurance companies place a value on whether or not the client complained of injury at the collision scene. They argue that the client could not have been injured if they failed to tell the investigating police officer that they were hurt or injured when interviewed by the investigating police officer. Does the collision crash police report indicate complaints of injury. Every police report has a section that records this injury information.3. How soon did the injured client first seek medical treatment for their collision related injuries?
Again, at Falanga & Chalker, we require that a potential client has sought treatment for their collision related injuries within a few days of the collision. There are a few exceptions to this requirement but the date of first treatment is a critical factor in the insurance companies evaluation and thus in the attorneys evaluation of a potential personal injury claim. Insurance companies are looking for a defense argument based upon any unreasonable delay in seeking treatment for the alleged injuries. They will argue, “well he/she couldn’t have been too injured as they waited ten days before they even went to a doctor”.
These are the threshold type items of interest to a personal injury attorney as well as any insurance company when evaluating the value or worth of a potential personal injury claim arising out of a vehicle collision case. If you would like a free evaluation of your personal injury claim, fill out the contact form or call us here at Falanga & Chalker. We are ready and willing to represent you in your vehicle personal injury claim.