Several factors, including a vehicle repair estimate, may impact the insurance company’s settlement offer in a car accident claim. There are a couple of ways this could affect a claim negatively. One is if the estimate is much lower than the actual costs, and the other is if very little damage is presented as an indication as evidence of low injury severity. A Long Island personal injury attorney can use applicable evidence to establish the true value of a New York injury case.
If a Vehicle Repair Estimate is Lower than Actual Costs
If the vehicle repair estimate on what it will cost to repair a vehicle is significantly less than what it really is, a car accident claim that is settled too quickly could result in the individual having to cover the gap. Let’s say the estimate for vehicle repairs is $6,000, but it turns out that the damage actually is much more or the damage is so severe the vehicle must be replaced.
If the case has already been settled under the assumption that the repairs would be $6,000 and they actually cost $10,000, this could leave the injured person to cover the additional $4,000.
This is one reason why it’s important not to settle a case without knowing the full extent of the vehicle damages and their costs. It’s also a good idea to get a few vehicle repair estimates, instead of just relying upon one.
If Injury Severity is Tied to the Vehicle Repair Estimate
Another way a car accident case can be harmed is when the severity of damage to the vehicle is linked to the person’s injuries. But just because there may not be much physical damage to the car doesn’t necessary mean that passengers haven’t been seriously hurt.
An example would be a rear-end accident, in which the bumper is dented. After learning the cost to repair is going to be fairly low, this may cause an insurance company to argue that injuries sustained aren’t as serious as the victim claims.
But whiplash, a common type of neck injury sustained in these types of crashes, sometimes can result in chronic pain. It could take weeks or months before it subsides, hindering a person’s ability to work. Yet minor damage may be argued as a way to avoid paying for long-term costs. A Long Island personal injury attorney can use appropriate evidence of the New York accident victim’s injuries to establish the long-term effects.
The vehicle repair estimate could affect compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish or emotional distress. An insurance company may say there is no way a person suffers from serious injuries because the damage to the vehicle wasn’t substantial.
A Long Island Personal Injury Attorney Can Use Evidence to Build a Strong New York Car Accident Claim
Because the insurance company may do everything possible to diminish the amount of compensation recoverable, an injured person must be prepared. This means having ample proof of not only the cost to fix the vehicle, but also the severity and extent of injuries sustained.
A Long Island personal injury attorney may help New York clients collect medical records. Copies of X-rays, doctor notations, prescribed medications, discharge papers, and any other documentation that clearly and concisely explains the diagnosis and prognosis will be helpful.
It also helps to keep a journal of all medical appointments, including dates, times and types of treatment received. An ongoing log should be kept of symptoms, such as pain or other discomfort. If there are times when symptoms interfere with the ability to perform daily tasks, such as job-related tasks, they should be noted.
During the time an injured person is out of work, documentation should be kept. If the doctor has indicated how long it’s expected the injured person will be out of work, this can also be useful to the car accident claim.
Present any settlement offers with your Long Island personal injury attorney before accepting and discuss evidence for a car accident claim such as a vehicle repair estimate and medical bills.