Eye injury in womens clothing store...
I was trying on a hat in a women's clothing store at a local mall when a long price tag swung around and hit me in my eye. Thank god, I was able to get medical assistance at vision care. Dr. told me the tag put a large hole in my cornea.
The company's insurance company has contacted me, and I have submitted a claim. The store did not take an incident report because the staff did not know how. They also did not remove the hat with the price tag that caused the injury, after I asked them three times.
I took pictures and have gathered all information to help my case. I have been to the emergency room and was seen by an ophthalmologist, who tells me I may have long term issues where I may need surgery if the cornea does not heal right. If the claims adjuster does not make a good offer, should I hire an attorney? Because of unknown future issues? What's your perspective? Thank you!!
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ANSWER for "Eye injury in womens clothing store...":
Angel (Lorton, VA):
The obvious question is...how will you know if the insurance company claims adjuster is making a fair settlement offer? What will you base your settlement demand on?
Some injury claims can be handled without legal representation. These are usually minor "soft tissue" injuries, such as sprains and strains to muscles, tendons and ligaments, minor burns, abrasions, contusions, whiplash, and the like. These type of claims usually do not involve extensive medical care, or diagnostic tests like CT Scans and MRIs. They also don't require protracted settlement negotiations or lawsuits.
In most cases, treatment for soft tissue injuries requires chiropractic care, relatively minor treatment costs, a relatively short recovery time, and straight forward settlement negotiations.
However, when more serious "hard injuries" are present, it is always a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney. Attorneys can review the claim and quickly decide what it's approximately worth, how long it will take to obtain a settlement, and whether or not filing a lawsuit will be necessary.
While you may believe you can enter into fair settlement negotiations with the claims adjuster, the reality is you are at the mercy of the insurance company. While the adjuster may lead you to believe you are a terrific negotiator, don't believe it.
Adjusters are experts at manipulating victims in injury claims. And once the adjuster decides that's all they are going to offer, you have absolutely no leverage. It's basically "take it or leave it."
Attorneys have absolute leverage. They can use their seasoned skills to negotiate, they know what a claim is really worth, and most importantly, if the adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement, the attorney can file a lawsuit. Insurance companies do not like lawsuits.
Personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Bring along to the consultations all your medical records and related documents. After reviewing your documentation and asking you related questions, the attorney will give you a much better idea of the viability of your claim.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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