Your Legal Rights at Work

What Pursuing An Injury Claim Against A Business Is Like

by Lewis Hamilton

People injured at places of business, especially ones owned by huge companies, often worry. After all, such businesses can afford to lawyer up and fight. However, personal injury attorneys will tend to see it a bit differently. Let's look at what pursuing a claim will be like when you go up against a business.


From the perspective of anyone at a personal injury law office, the focus of pursuing a claim against a typical business is the likelihood it'll have insurance. The business doesn't even necessarily have to be a major nationwide or regional brand. Even a ma-and-pa antique shop is likely to have coverage against premises liability, meaning coverage for injuries to folks who have accidents there.

Why is that important? The insurance company represents a different kind of opponent then you'd face against an uninsured party. Foremost, insurers want to keep their costs down, and that means they will want to settle as many legitimate claims as early as possible. Paying for defense lawyers in injury cases is a terrible business model for an insurer except to deter people who are fishing for settlements. An insurer wants to reach a fair and fast settlement for every justifiable claim.


The person who handles the initial investigation of the claim for the insurer is known as an adjuster. An insurance adjuster looks at the reports, and they may also visit the scene of an incident. They have two goals. First, they want to determine if the claim is legitimate. Second, if the claim is justified, they will want to develop a settlement offer.

An adjuster will review the details of your claim, especially the medical reports that show what happened. They will then compare your case to a database of similar ones the insurer has settled before in your area. Using that math, they will make an offer.


Lots of the work of personal injury attorneys involves back-and-forth discussions with insurers. Once the defendant's insurance company proposes a settlement, your lawyer will bring it to you and discuss whether they believe it's fair. If everyone is happy with the offer, the insurer and accident victim can agree to a payment structure and sign an agreement.

The settlement offer may come in low, though. In that scenario, the personal injury law office will send a counteroffer to the defendant's insurer. This sometimes goes back and forth for several months. If it proves impossible to reach a settlement, you will still have the option to sue.

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