Ensuring Maximum Insurance Payout for Injuries

Published by Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on the 27 June 2013

If you are involved in an accident at work or are in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you are almost always entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses from the insurance company involved. What many people don’t realise, however, is that they may be entitled to further payouts. Before accepting a settlement, it is important to ensure you are getting all the  money you deserve.

The problem

As insurance companies are in business to make money, they will almost always seek to minimise the claims they pay out. Unless pushed, they will often leave out money that you are entitled to. This is reflected in the token sums frequently offered to injured workers or car accident victims, particularly those who do not have legal representation or don’t have the knowledge of what the law says they’re entitled to.

The amounts

As well as your medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for a number of other

factors relating to your injuries. These can include:

  • Future medical and rehabilitation expenses – as well as the medical expenses already incurred, the expenses you may incur in the future for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering – the non-financial losses you suffer because of your injuries, which include the physical distress of your injuries and the mental distress, such as pain, anxiety and depression.
  • Loss of income – the income you would have earned between the time of the accident and when you claimed, plus the period you may not be able to work in the future. Depending on the extent of your injuries, this be anything up to the remainder of your working life.
  • Loss of Super – the amount of guaranteed employer superannuation contributions you would have received and would receive in the future if you were able to work.
  • Special needs – the cost of modifications to your house or motor vehicle to make them disability-friendly.
  • Household assistance – the expense of hiring assistance, such as a carer and housekeeper, to perform the normal domestic tasks you are not able to do because of your injuries.

The solution

The solution to the problem is not to accept any offers from an insurance company until you are absolutely sure they are offering what you deserve. If you are unsure, it is often best to seek legal advice. If the insurance company sees that you are uninformed, they may try to get you to accept their offer, adopting a ‘take it or lose it’ approach. Many people feel intimidated and worried that they won’t receive any compensation at all, and therefore sign off on a token sum.

Seeking legal advice in these cases is likely not to cost you anything initially, as many compensation lawyers now offer ‘no win, no fee’ terms. Regardless, it is important never to let the insurance company pressure you into taking a settlement before you are comfortable with the conditions.

Being involved in an accident is a painful and distressing experience. Having to worry about financial matters often only increases this pain. Being prepared with adequate knowledge can help to prevent unnecessary distress.