If you've been injured, is there a minimum seriousness of the injury or amount of damages for you to be able to file a personal injury claim? There are a few things you need to take into consideration.
Does No-Fault Insurance Apply?
No-fault insurance typically applies to auto accident personal injury claims. Some states require all drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage. For injuries up to the required amount of personal injury protection, each driver must pay for their own medical expenses regardless of fault for the accident.
The purpose of this insurance requirement is to avoid burdening the courts with small personal injury claims. You would only be able to sue if your damages are above the no-fault insurance limits. If your insurance company doesn't honor your claim, you could also have a potential claim against your own insurance company for breach of the insurance contract.
How Much Are Your Medical Bills?
Smaller injuries are less likely to involve a lawsuit. If you only needed a few stitches, the other party is more likely to accept responsibility and offer to take care of your medical bills. This is simply due to the fact that they're not losing as much money as a more serious case. In addition, if it's a business that's involved, it's good customer service for them to take care of a small medical bill.
The one risk to be aware of is that taking this kind of settlement could reduce your ability to recover more later. Your injuries might be more serious than you initially thought or you may be entitled to lost wages or other compensation that you weren't offered.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
You may worry that the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer will outweigh what you're able to recover. While this could happen in other types of lawsuits, it almost never happens in personal injury cases. That's because personal injury lawyers usually take a percentage of what you recover rather than an hourly or fixed fee. If you don't recover anything, you don't pay.
It is true that some lawyers may not accept cases that are below a certain amount. However, there are many others who might. Even though all lawyers can handle all types of personal injury cases, many lawyers like to focus on specific areas, so don't think you don't have a case just because one lawyer told you no. They may also be able to point you in the right direction.
To learn more about your personal injury claim, contact a local personal injury lawyer today.