Sometimes, when clients first call me, I can sense they are very worried about one thing - "How am I going to fix my car?" They worry about losing their car, not getting enough money for it, not having a rental vehicle, paying their deductible, not getting answers from the responsible person's insurance company etc. Some take the loss of their car very personally - some people even personify their vehicle. In some cases, they have actually named their car! They'll say things like, "I don't know what I'm going to do without my Baby Girl!"
If this is the focus of the first phone call, my alarms go off. In some cases, the clients are SO focused on their property damage claim that they lose focus of what's really important - their bodily injury! They are SO worried about who is going to pay for their property damage, how they are going to get a rental, etc.
At face value, I certainly understand their concerns. There is nothing wrong with being concerned about these issues. However, here is the lesson of this blog post - Don't get so carried away with your property damage woes that you lose sight of the bigger concern which is any bodily injury you suffered. If you don't take care of your bodily injury claim and focus solely on property damage, you may actually be shooting yourself in the foot.
It is understandable if you are worried about your property damage claim. I understand that. Property damage claims are never fun. But if you haven't sought any medical treatment in over two weeks, you may have lost your chance at a bodily injury claim. Assume you get short-changed on your property damage claim. If you present your bodily injury claim appropriately, you might recover enough to help bridge any shortfall on the property damage issue. By only focusing on your property damage claim, you risk mismanaging your bodily injury claim. Now you've lost twice - on your property damage claim AND your bodily injury claim! Try to think "big picture" when it comes to your personal injury case.
Therefore, while handling your property damage claim, don't lose sight of the other (and sometimes more valuable) component of your claim - bodily injury.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.