Injured in car accident & can’t work: how to leverage insurance companies
According to the Wisconsin DOT, nearly 40,000 people are injured in car accidents every year (per statistics from 2011 through 2016). If you’re one of those who have been injured in an auto accident and wondering what to do if your injuries have made it impossible to work, read on.
Fact: Insurance companies are not concerned about your injuries
In a perfect world, insurance companies would be fine, upstanding corporate citizens who are quick to compensate you for your losses. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Their primary objective is making money for their shareholders (and/or themselves), and paying out on every claim runs counter to that.
After an auto accident injury, you dutifully report to your insurance company what happened and file a claim for your losses (medical bills, auto repair bills, lost wages). You expect they’ll do the right thing and send you a check for your claim. Instead, the settlement check comes up short. Way short. Which is precisely why you should never accept the first settlement offer.
You can try to contest their low ball settlement on your own, but you’ll be going up against an army of attorneys with marching orders to say “no.” The only leverage you have is to file a personal injury lawsuit. And for that you need an experienced personal injury attorney.
Warshafsky Law has helped thousands of auto accident injury victims throughout Wisconsin get the compensation they deserve. Before you sign off on a settlement check your insurance company sends you, talk to one of our attorneys. We’ll let you know if you’re getting a fair settlement. If you’re not, we’ll let you know what IS a fair settlement.
Insurance companies hate us, but our clients love us. With Warshafsky Law, you’ll get everything you’re owed.
Car Accident Permanent Injury Settlements
By definition, a permanent injury is one you can’t recover from. When a permanent injury causes long-term disabilities that require ongoing medical treatment, the cost of the treatments should always be part of the settlement from the insurance company.
Don’t count on an insurance company volunteering to pay for ongoing treatments, though. For that, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit, and you’ll need testimony from doctors and healthcare providers attesting to the need for ongoing treatments. For that, you need Warshafsky Law.
Typical permanent injuries from auto accidents
- Amputations—Loss of arm, leg or even a finger or tow are all permanent injuries that have impact your ability to make a living, and even take care of yourself.
- Paralysis—Serious auto accidents often cause partial or complete paralysis. If you lose use of your lower body and legs (paraplegia) or lose the use of both arms and legs (quadriplegia), you’re going to need care the rest of your life.
- Brain injuries—Memory loss and vision loss are two of the most common results of brain injuries. In worst case scenarios, a brain injury can leave a person with paralysis, or even in a coma.
- Disfigurement—An auto accident can cause disfigurement so severe it requires multiple plastic surgery procedures. Sometimes, the disfigurement is so severe as to make it impossible to return to your previous life.
Permanent Partial Disability after a Car Accident
Permanent partial disability is a term used to describe a type of workers’ compensation claim. Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are awarded to people who have some type of lasting impairment or who can only continue to work by doing modified or lower-paying work than they had done previously.
If you were injured in an auto accident while on the job and have been partially disabled, you can file a PPD claim. To be determined eligible for PPD, you must show:
- Your physical or mental condition prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity
- A doctor has determined your condition can be expected to last for at least a year or could cause your death
While you may be able to get by with representing yourself in some minor workers’ compensation claims, with anything involving a disability you really need an attorney to look out for your best interests. Warshafsky Law helps many auto accident victims with their workers’ comp claims.
Short Term Disability after a Car Accident
Short term, or temporary disability, is the most common type of disability claim after an auto accident. It’s referred to as short term disability because the injuries caused by the accident are not permanent.
Injuries like strained muscles, minor cases of whiplash and broken bones usually prevent you from doing your job, and typically require you to take time off to heal. A short term disability claim seeks to ensure you are compensated for the money you could have earned if you had not been injured.
All personal injury lawsuits include a claim for the medical expenses you’ve incurred as a result of your accident (including any ongoing treatment you may need), as well as compensation for the income you’ve lost as a result of your injury.
Unemployment After Car Accident
If your injuries were severe enough to cause you to miss work, you have every right to be reimbursed for the wages you were unable to earn while recovering. A personal injury lawsuit always includes a claim for lost wages. It’s important, though, to have accurate documentation of your earnings and of the time you’ve missed work.
But what about if you have to quit your job after an accident due to the severity of the injuries you sustained? Are you eligible for unemployment insurance? Unfortunately, no. You can only receive unemployment benefits if you are able to work and available to work. If after recovering from your injuries you begin looking for work, then you are eligible to file for unemployment benefits.
Free Initial Consultation and No Payment Until We Win For You
Since there are so many variables involved in auto accident injury cases, and because each case is unique, the best advice we can give here is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Warshafsky Law offers a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We’ll give you a straightforward assessment of your case and let you know what sort of settlement you should be getting from your insurance company.
If you choose to hire Warshafsky Law, you won’t owe us a thing until your case has been resolved and you have been compensated. Our No Win, No Fee policy ensures that hiring us is a no risk proposition—if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a thing.