If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered injuries due to someone’s negligence, you might want to seek compensation for your injuries. To do this, you have to file a personal injury claim. To file a claim after a car crash, you must determine if your case is a minor or major personal injury claim.
Some claims do not involve a lawsuit and can be settled out of court with the insurance company. To help you determine where your case falls, we’ll review the differences between minor and major personal injury claims in this article. These differences will help you determine the best action to take to seek compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
This is a type of claim where someone seeks compensation for bodily injuries. This could be injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident, product liability, a slip and fall, and many more. In addition, if your injuries resulted from another person’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim.
Differences Between Major and Minor Personal Injury Claims
It’s quite easy to tell the difference between the two claims. However, we’ll start with the definition of both claims to help you understand their differences. Minor personal injury claims include soft-tissue injuries after car crashes. This could be injuries to the muscle, tendons, ligaments, etc.
Whether the accident was a result of distracted driving or terrible weather conditions, you have a minor insurance claim if you suffered minor injuries. The injuries sustained are usually less severe and don’t have a long-term effect on the passenger’s life. This type of injury could theoretically happen anywhere on the body.
Although this type of injury doesn’t affect you in the long term, you can still claim it even if you’re recovering quickly. As long as you prove that the injuries affected your quality of life, you can file a personal injury claim.
On the other hand, major personal injury claims are accidents resulting in permanent injuries, loss of bodily function, dismemberment, or even death. So if the single-car crash wasn’t your fault, you don’t have to bear the costs.
Although car accidents occur every other day, it’s uncommon for a significant percentage of these accidents to be extremely serious. However, there is the occasional fatal injury that could be a result of speeding by other vehicles. Therefore, it’s essential to go through the claims process to ensure you receive ample compensation for your injuries and other damages resulting from the accident.
A major difference lies in the intricacy of the case. Major personal injury cases are usually more complicated than minor claims. Minor cases are usually resolved quickly, with the other drivers willing to settle out of court to avoid a trial.
On the other hand, most major personal injury claims might proceed to court. There might be a need to obtain the crash report, gather evidence of negligence, like proof the other driver was driving beyond the speed limit, and determine compensation. The other party might also want to prove the victim shared in the negligence, like forgetting to wear a seat belt. Major personal injury claims usually drag on for months and years, in some cases due to their complicated nature.
Settling vs. Going to Court
This is another salient difference between both claims. Minor personal injury claims tend to settle out of court rather than proceed to trial. Insurance companies are willing to compensate for small injuries since they only require a few thousand dollars.
Most insurers do not find it essential for such cases to proceed to trial. Therefore, most people with a minor personal injury claim take the settlement offered by insurance companies. On the other hand, major personal injury claims usually proceed to court, with a judge determining the outcome of the case.
Compensation for damages usually depends on the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident. For example, if you suffered severe damage to a blood vessel, you might have a claim for medical bills, lost wages, and future medical bills.
If you sustain severe injuries in a car crash, you are entitled to significantly more compensation than someone with minor injuries. Sometimes those with minor personal injury claims do not find the process involved in filing a claim worth the compensation.
Related Article: Personal injury lawyer: when to ask for help
How Insurance Companies Value Personal Injury Claims
When determining if your personal injury claim is major or minor, the insurance company considers several factors to determine the compensation you deserve. These factors include:
- Liability: Did the insured act negligently? Maybe they broke a traffic rule or were caught speeding; the insurer considers this factor.
- Type of Injury: Was the injury sustained, major or minor? How much will it take to cover the damages sustained by the injured person?
- Plaintiff Character and Reputation: Most insurance companies seek reasons to discredit the injured person. An example is searching their driving history for speeding tickets. Were they known for not wearing seat belts in the past? Do they have a criminal history?
- Costs to Insurance Company: The company also determines if it is cheaper to pay the injured party or proceed to court.
- Plaintiff’s Legal Counsel: They also consider if the injured party has a car accident lawyer backing them up. Is their lawyer competent, skilled, and willing to proceed to trial?
Using these factors, the insurance adjusters determine the compensation owed to the injured party as compensatory damages. This amount is used to determine where negotiations should begin regarding the claim.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Media, PA Today
A car accident attorney can help you determine if your claim is major or minor and the amount of compensation you deserve. Sometimes the presence of a personal injury lawyer determines whether you get paid. For example, if you or a loved one suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, the Michael Alan Siddons Law Firm could help you recover compensation.
Our experienced attorneys will help you review your case and determine your legal options. We’re very familiar with the law and will ensure you receive maximum compensation for injuries sustained. Contact our personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.