In order to file a bodily injury claim, you need to file against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you were at-fault, they’ll file against your insurance. Bodily injury claims are considered “third party claims” which means you are filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Before making a claim, it is best to have records of how the crash took place and photos at the scene of injuries you suffered. It is also good to have records of medical exams and copies of any bills from your doctor for exams and treatment, including proof of lost wages and income and documentation from your employer for missing work.
Coming to a conclusion on how much you can expect to recover from bodily injury is done by estimating hard costs also known as special damages, according to insurance law. Special damages are all the bills and expenses that are evident as a result of the injury and the effect it has on your life going forward. All types of special damages are medical bills, therapy and treatment bills, out-of-pocket expenses and lost income. Just use your receipts from your special damages and add up the full cost of each bill even if insurance covered part or all of the bill. Bruises, broken bones, lacerations, pain and suffering such as emotional distress is harder to get a firm number of damages for because it’s separate from damaged property which can be given an estimate of value. Add one or two times the total amount of damages to account for pain and suffering damages.
The good news is higher medical costs usually end up leading to a higher injury settlement amount in the end. That is of course if the medical costs are accurate and the insurance adjuster agrees with you on the bills set forth. Insurance companies aren’t obligated to pay for any bills from treatment that aren’t considered necessary for you. If your medical bill has been run up by a doctor doing unnecessary treatment, you need to handle that matter separately before working with an adjuster. Insurance companies won’t pay repeat bills and have a keen eye for over-billing that is done without the customers knowledge.
You usually do not have to prove who caused the accident if you are in a no-fault state. New Mexico, however is a fault state. You instead must negotiate with your own insurance to find out how to settle your claim. If your insurance does not accept liability for their insured, they will deny your claim. In order to prove liability, you need to show their insured that they had a duty to not cause harm, failed to do what a reasonable driver would do under the same circumstances and your injury was caused directly from their negligence.
If you are suffering from bodily injury due to an accident that was not your fault, we can help. The Davis Kelin Law Firm handles bodily injury claims all the time. We will work with you to file your claim and recover damages that you deserve. You shouldn’t be expected to pay all your medical bills out of pocket for an accident that you did not cause. Call us today at (505) 242-7200.
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