What are the most important factors in determining the value of your car wreck claim?
(1) Medical Causation: One of the most important factors is whether the insurance company or a jury believes that the treatment you received was due to (or caused by) the wreck. Insurance companies often claim that treatment after a wreck was due to a preexisting injury or unrelated condition. Often MRIs of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine show degenerative disc disease. Degenerative conditions and osteoarthritis are often noted in clients’ hips and knees. These conditions can cause an insurance adjuster or a jury to reduce the value of your claim.
(2) Consistent Treatment: Early treatment and consistent treatment is required. Clients that wait a week or longer to receive medical treatment after a car wreck will see the value of their case decrease. Additionally, clients that do not treat for a condition for months will likely see an adjuster or jury allow $0 for that injury. Finally, gaps in treatment will also hurt your claim. Clients that treat for an injury and then do not have a follow up appointment for several months will see their claim devalued. The reason for all of this is that people believe those who are injured will consistently treat if they are truly hurt.
(3) Property damage: Heavy property damage will not necessarily increase the value of your case. But light property damage will definitely devalue your case. Insurance adjusters and juries have a hard time believing that a wreck with little to no property damage caused substantial injuries.
Some of these factors are out of your control and every case will have potential setbacks. However, some factors, such as consistent treatment, are within your control. Additionally, a good lawyer knows how to work with these negative factors and still reach a good result. Call one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Haug & Farrar today if you’ve been injured due to negligence.