Question: What happens to the person, persons, or company who caused my injury?
St. George Attorneys Answer:
After your injury occurs and your claim is filed, the person or entity that is responsible will be contacted by their insurance company as part of the initial investigation. Either the responsible party or a representative of the company that caused your injury will give statements to the claims adjustor for their insurance carrier. These statements are recorded and transcribed so that there are written records to be accessed later.
After this first investigation, there is little to no contact between the insurance company and the entity that caused your injury. The insurance company does not keep their insured informed day to day about the progression of your claim. The person or entity that caused your injury is likely going on about their daily life, knowing that the case will likely be settled by their insurance company with no further information needed from them.
What happens to the person who caused my injury if the case does not settle?
If you, your attorney, and the insurance company do not settle the case, it will proceed to litigation or lawsuit. At this point, the insured will be contacted by the insurance company again. The insurance company will assign an attorney to represent the tortfeasor (person, persons, or company that caused your injury). The tortfeasor will participate in the litigation process and must cooperate with the attorney assigned to defend them. In this case, keep in mind that the lawsuit is brought against the entity that caused your injury, not the insurance company. However the insurance company will likely pay the verdict.
What if the tortfeasor was not honest or accurate about how the incident happened?
It is unfortunate that in many cases, the person responsible for an injury may fabricate or exaggerate some details about the incident. Many people will deny liability even when blame, negligence, or wrong-doing is clearly apparent. It is just human nature. You can rely on your attorney in this circumstance. Your attorney has dealt with many cases where the tortfeasors were not truthful about the facts of the incident. Sometimes, the insurance carrier will believe their insured or their witnesses and deny your claim, no matter what evidence you have collected and presented with you attorney’s help. In these cases, a lawsuit is necessary. Your attorney will help you through the process of litigation and perhaps even trial.
However, in most cases, the truth comes out eventually. Your attorney will be sure to provide the insurance company with all of the needed evidence so that your claim will settle.
Can I contact the person or entity that is responsible for my injuries?
Again, the simple answer is No! Any contact with the tortfeasor could ruin or jeopardize favorable settlement of your case. Even an innocent comment made off hand could be misinterpreted and ruin your credibility. Any statement can be used against you. Never contact the tortfeasor, even if they have not told the truth about the incident.