The first thing we need to make clear in car accident settlements is that you have a right to it only if the accident wasn’t your fault. So, keep this thing in mind as you read our today’s new article. We will talk about what you have to do, and which actions to take, as you are a victim of a car accident.
After you are hurt, try to stay as calm as possible. Surely, if you are unconscious, you won’t be able to do these things, but you can hope someone will stay by your side, and that police will arrive on time, together with the ambulance. But, if you are aware all the time, and you know it was not your fault, you have a right to a car accident claim, so you can settle.
Sometimes, that process may take a few months until completed. By hiring a personal injury attorney, or car accident lawyer, things can go much easier for you, because they will handle the case professionally.
A medical report is mandatory
Before you start the case and initiate settlement, you need to get a complete medical report. We are sure that after the accident you are stressed a lot, and you have an urge to fix the things yourself. But, if you are conscious, you need to call the police and ambulance (or ask someone to do that for you). Make sure you pay attention to the surroundings and remember the people who witness the accident – they will be really helpful later in the process.
As the ambulance arrives, explain all the things to them, so they can open a file, and start your medical report. This is the most important document in the case, so you know what you are fighting for.
Factors that are in your favor
People who have had a car accident must first commit to hiring a good lawyer. Check out Earl & Earl for what it all means. Having an experienced lawyer by your side will help you to prove quickly and easily that you are a victim of an accident and how it affected you.
Apart from the medical record, other important factors are the degree of injuries and their complication. Evidence from the scene of the accident can be crucial to get the case faster. Try to photograph everything you need for the process.
At this point, you should also work with the insurance company, but it is always best to leave that to your lawyer.
How long can you expect a settlement?
No one case is the same and everyone has different ways to solve it. You usually have to report as soon as possible to get a timely response. In one to two months you can expect an answer as to whether you will receive compensation, and what its amount is. After that, you have ten days to answer whether you accept the proposal or not.
At this point, you can decide to accept or reject the offer, negotiate a higher compensation from the insurance company, or file a lawsuit and go to court. Of course, if you sue, the process will take even longer, so be prepared for that.
At best, we would get a fair deal solution in about a month. The process ends when you sign a contract with the insurance company. But if you sue and go to court, sometimes the process can take up to a year. Therefore, talk to your lawyer to find out if it is worth the wait and if you have a reason to sue and get more money.
What are the steps before the final decision?
We can wrap all the things up, with a few simple explanations. So, let’s say that an accident happened. These are the steps you need to take:
- Call the police and ambulance, and your attorney, if you have one
- Ask the people around to stay, since they are witnesses
- Wait for the ambulance, without moving anything around you
- Don’t negotiate with the other person, because that can easily be used against you
- Take photos of every possible evidence, in a case the guilty person tries to mess with it
- Undergo a treatment and get a medical report
- Include all the expenses and lost wages
- Issue the claim to the insurance company, with help from a lawyer
- Wait for the response, without pushing them to hurry
- After you receive the settlement offer, you can accept, deny, or file a lawsuit
There is no defined framework on how long these cases take until resolved. Also, if the health condition changes due to injuries, it may take even longer to settle.
Surely, you can expect that the other person will do the same things, so be ready for that. At this point, taking the case to court is one of the most optimal things to do. But, that will increase the expenses and may take a little too long than you all expect.
If the case is taking too long, it’s probably too complicated to be settled immediately, or the other side filed a lawsuit too. That’s why we always suggest keeping all the medical records and bills and having your attorney by your side all the time. Make sure your lawyer is experienced enough for cases like this.
Don’t try to handle the things alone, because the insurance companies can’t wait to take advantage of you.
Now you have a detailed guide on what you have to do if you are in an accident. Make sure you are not guilty, so the case can be resolved properly. And don’t expect a fast settlement. There are so many factors that can influence the length of the case. On the other hand, make sure you have a detailed medical report, with all the details and treatments included. That’s the document that will help you get a better settlement, without taking the case to the court.