Accident Injury Compensation

In the United States, claims for accident injury compensation provide an individual with the opportunity to claim financial damages for a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition which is attributable to the negligence of somebody who had a responsibility for their health and safety. Although no amount of accident injury compensation can ever make up for a long-term illness, permanent physical condition, emotional disorder or the loss of a loved one, accident injury compensation provides a means for victims of negligence to receive adequate health care and support their families when that opportunity has been taken away from them.

Not every claim for accident injury compensation is the result of a catastrophic accident, and many thousands of accident injury compensation claims are made in the United States each year for injuries which – by comparison — result in temporary suffering and inconvenience. Irrespective of whether your suffering and inconvenience is permanent or temporary, you are equally entitled to make a claim for accident injury compensation when you have sustained an injury in an accident which could have been prevented had somebody who owed you a duty of care adhered to their responsibilities.

This guide provides some general information about claiming accident injury compensation in the United States, but — as no two claims are identical – it is no substitute for speaking with an experienced injury compensation lawyer. Details of how you can contact our Accidents Injury Compensation Service are at the foot of this page if you would like specific questions related to accident injury compensation answered or if you wish to check on your eligibility to make accident injury compensation claims.

Eligibility to Make Claims for Accident Injury Compensation in the United States

In order to be eligible to make claims for accident injury compensation in the United States, you must have sustained a quantifiable injury in an accident which was due to the negligence of somebody who had a duty of care towards you. Your injury must have been sustained because somebody who had responsibility for your health and safety was careless in their actions – or lack of them — and their negligence resulted in a psychical injury, an emotional injury or a combination of the two.

Examples of negligence which would entitle you to make a claim for accident injury compensation in the United States include:-

  • A car driver causing an accident by driving through a red light
  • A bus driver causing injury to his passengers by driving recklessly
  • An employer failing to train an employee on the safest way to work at height
  • A warehouse manager failing to isolate vehicles from employees
  • A local council allowing footpaths and highways to ice over
  • A supermarket failing to train staff on how to stack shelves to prevent the risk of goods falling

Irrespective of how an accident has happened, you will not be entitled to claim accident injury compensation in the United States if you have not sustained a measureable injury. Therefore, before considering a claim for accident injury compensation, you should always undergo a medical examination by a professional medical practitioner.

Your Health is More Important than Accident Injury Claims

Later in this guide we suggest collecting evidence of negligence to support your claim for accident injury compensation, but you should never place yourself at a risk of further injury by doing so or place others at hazard by asking them to collect evidence on your behalf. Your health must always take priority over accident injury claims — even when you have received first aid treatment at the site of your accident.

Many people who sustain less serious personal injuries risk making their injuries worse by failing to seek medical attention immediately. Regardless of the nature of your injuries you should visit the accident and emergency department of your local hospital or see your family GP at the earliest possible opportunity. To delay seeking a medical examination can have a negative effect on your entitlement to accident injury compensation as well as on your health.

The failure to undergo a medical examination as soon as possible after sustaining an injury could be argued by the insurers of the person responsible for your injury to have contributed to the extent of your injury. Insurers of the negligent party could subsequently demand that how much accident injury compensation you receive is reduced to account for your own contributory negligence.

Procedures Prior to Claiming Accident Injury Compensation in the United States

Depending on the severity of your injuries you may or may not be able to complete all of these procedures prior to making a claim for accident injury compensation. Even when you are not seriously hurt, you should never place yourself at risk of further injury by completing these procedures or collecting evidence to support accident injury claims for compensation.

Therefore, only whenever possible:-

  • Make a report of your accident and injury in the appropriate “Accident Report Book”. In the event of a car accident, this would be at your local police station, an accident at work should be entered into your employer´s Accident Report Book, and places of public access also keep Accident Report Books in which details of how your accident occurred and what injuries you sustained should be entered (if already known).
  • Take photographs of the accident scene and what caused your accident to happen. When a negligence results in an accident being sustained at work or in a place of public access, evidence of a lack of health and safety is often removed. Most modern mobile phones have a camera facility which can be used by yourself or somebody who is with you at the time of your accident to support your accident injury claim.
  • Compile a list of witnesses who saw how your accident occurred and who would be prepared to provide a statement to support your claim for accident injury compensation. Most road accidents and many which occur in shops and supermarkets are captured by roadside cameras or CCTV, and your lawyer will try to gain access to these if there is any doubt over negligence being responsible the cause of the accident in which you were injured.

Making Claims for Accident Injury Compensation in the United States

Once as many as possible of the above procedures have been completed, your lawyer will construct the strongest possible claim for accident injury compensation and send a Letter of Claim to the negligent party´s insurers. The letter only states that you are making an accident injury claim and gives the reasons why. Sometimes it is not possible to determine how much accident injury compensation you are entitled to at this stage of you are still receiving medical treatment and it is not known yet when — if ever — you are likely to return to work.

The insurance company has three weeks to acknowledge receipt of the letter and a further three months to advise your lawyer whether their client accepts liability for your injuries. Should liability be accepted, your lawyer will complete his or her calculations for how much accident injury compensation you are entitled to and start negotiations with the insurance company.

If the negligent party denies their liability for your injuries, your lawyer will issue court proceedings. The issuance of court proceedings is often enough to start communications between the two parties, as insurance companies are keen to avoid court costs as much as possible. Wherever possible your lawyer will push for an out-of-court settlement to prevent the necessity for you to attend court to resolve your claim.

One final scenario exists where the negligent party accepts partial responsibility for your injuries — alleging that you contributed to the cause of your accident or the severity of your injuries by your own lack of care. In this event, a percentage of fault will be allocated to account for your contributory negligence and your accident injury compensation settlement will be reduced accordingly.

How Much Accident Injury Compensation Should You Expect?

In order to calculate your entitlement to accident injury compensation, your lawyer will need access to your medical records to determine your doctor´s opinion of your condition and how long it may be before you are able to return to work (if applicable). How much accident injury compensation you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, gender and general state of health before your accident occurred — but as shown above, the final amount of accident injury compensation can be adjusted downwards if you contributed to the cause of your accident or failed to seek medical attention at the first possible opportunity.

Any deterioration in your quality of life due to your accident and injury will be taken into account when compiling your claim for accident injury compensation, and any quantifiable emotional trauma you may have suffered either during your accident or as a result of it will also be considered. If including accident injury compensation for emotional trauma, medical experts may be required to attest to a psychological injury – for which you will need to undergo a psychiatric examination.

Accident injury claims for compensation in the United States should also ensure that any expenses you have incurred due to an injury for which you were not to blame are recovered; so that you are no worse off financially than if your accident had never happened. These “special damages” account for any expenses you have incurred in obtaining medical treatment and also the cost of public transport if you are unable to drive, child care or the care of elderly relatives if applicable, and any loss of earnings, overtime and pension contributions.

Offers of Settlement for Accident Injury Claims

In the United States, insurance companies are eager to reduce their financial exposure to accident injury claims and frequently make direct approaches to accident victims with an offer of compensation. These offers of compensation for accident injury claims rarely consider the full significance of an injury and there is a genuine risk of you being undercompensated if you accept an insurance company´s offer of accident injury compensation without first seeking legal advice.

You should be apprehensive of any offer of settlement which does not originate directly from your lawyer. Even though ant approach from an insurance company is a positive sign that they acknowledge their client´s negligence, it is essential that you obtain your maximum entitlement to accident injury compensation should you need to support your family if you are unable to work and cover the costs of any future medical treatment.

If you have concerns about your immediate financial situation, and are tempted to accept an insurance company´s offer, it is recommended that you speak with your lawyer first. As the insurance company has effectively admitted that their client is liable for accident injury compensation, your lawyer should be able to apply for interim payments of accident injury compensation until such time as your claim is fully resolved.

Free Accident Injury Compensation Advice

If you have sustained a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition in an accident which was due to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care, you are invited to call our accident injury claims advice service on FREEPHONE and have a free assessment of your claim for accident injury compensation.

The lawyers who man our Accidents Injury Compensation Service will be happy to answer any questions you may have relating to United States accident injury compensation, advise you whether you have a claim for accident injury compensation which is worth your while to pursue and establish whether you qualify for “No Win, No Fee” legal representation.

You are under no obligation to neither proceed with a claim for accident injury compensation nor make a decision on the spot. All calls to our Accidents Injury Compensation Service are totally confidential and should you contact us via the call-back forms available on this page, your privacy is assured.

This is a site about accident injury compensation. You can find details about HIPAA compliance here.