Auto Injury Claims Costs are Rising
According to a recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), a division of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, the cost of each injury claim per insured vehicle is rising in the United States. This increase in costs is happening despite the fact that vehicles have generally become safer. Increased vehicle safety has led to a reduction in the frequency of auto injury claims, according to the report.
New Funding for Personal Injury Plaintiffs
This report comes at the same time that a new form of funding for litigation enters the marketplace. A New York-based startup company called Mighty Group Inc. recently raised venture funding to create a marketplace where eligible investors compete to provide personal injury plaintiffs with money to help them survive until they receive a payout in their case. The plaintiffs agree to pay back the money (plus interest) only if they eventually receive payment from their case. The CEO and co-founder, Joshua Schwadron, states that this model seeks to avoid situations where insurance companies and other defendants in personal injury cases lowball their settlement offers and prey on plaintiffs who desperately need the money to survive.
With auto accident costs on the rise and insurance companies attempting to offer low initial offers, it is important to know how the settlement process works for auto injury claims. After consulting with a client who has been injured in an auto accident, a personal injury lawyer will most likely send a demand letter to the insurance company (or other potential defendants in the case). The demand letter will lay out the facts of the accident and the medical treatment incurred by the injured party as a result of the accident. The insurance company will then review the demand letter and decide whether to make an initial settlement offer on the claim. (This is usually the “lowball” offer.) If the offer is too low, your attorney will send a letter to the insurance company declining the offer and explaining why the offer is unacceptable. Usually, the initial offer is too low to cover medical costs or may not take into account your pain and suffering. The negotiation of settlement amounts can go back and forth between you (and your attorney) and the insurance company several times. If your negotiations are not moving forward as they should, you may participate in mediation. In the mediation, a neutral party will help both parties meet in the middle to reach a settlement on which each side can agree. With or without the help of a mediator, if both sides can reach an agreement, then your attorney will assist you in entering into a settlement agreement.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to an auto accident or any other accident, the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial in navigating the complex personal injury laws in each state. Consult with the attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today and get more information on your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. It can be difficult to know where to begin and how to proceed in these situations. Statutes of limitations are very important and may differ in each case, so it is imperative to seek counsel today if you have suffered from an injury. Call (212) 397-1000 to schedule your free consultation today.