If a negligent driver contributes to your injuries in a car accident. In that case, you will be entitled to receive compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and medical expertise. However, some claims that emanate from minor injuries and accidents might be handled with the help of a lawyer.
However, the company’s adjusters might attempt to dispute your claim or provide you with a low and quick settlement that cannot account for your damages, especially if your claim is costly. In such a case, you will need to consult a professional, a car accident lawyer. While you recover from the injuries, the lawyers will do their best to ensure you receive a fair settlement. In this case, the settlement process might entail the following steps:
Medical treatment and recovery
Your priority involves recovering from the injuries in an accident, while your lawyer will prioritize ensuring you receive fair compensation. Your lawyer might want, until your doctor reports that you can attain maximum medical improvement, to start filing a claim. Your settlement will depend on the damage suffered from the accident and the future ones you might experience. Such damages include:
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical care for disability or long-term impairment
Identification of liable parties
Your attorney will obtain copies of the insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver and file a claim on your behalf. It is also possible that a claim can be filed against you:
- Insurance firms of other liable parties if a commercial vehicle hits you.
- The manufacturer of the at-fault repair service or vehicle
- The firm that owns the at-fault car
- The employer of the at-fault driver
Your insurance firm if:
- The insurance of the negligent driver has limited coverage limits
- The negligence driver does not have insurance
- You emerged as a victim of a hit and run accident
Your lawyer will handle a comprehensive investigation of your claim by:
- Collecting medical medication, including receipts/bills, the prognosis/diagnosis from the doctors. The daily journal of your pain and suffering or recovery.
- Securing the documentation of the wages or salaries, you would lose or might lose because of the car accident.
- Obtaining statements from the witnesses
- Gaining to video footage documenting the accident if available.
- Gathering photographs of the damaged car (s) and the accident scene
- Hiring independent investigators when necessary
- Obtaining copies of police reports.
- After the lawyer starts the process, negotiations might entail the following stages.
In this stage, the lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance firm of the negligent driver. The demand letter will document how the car accident happened, why the driver acted negligently and suffered injuries. It will also indicate how the injuries have affected your life and the settlement you are requesting.
Insurance adjuster response
After the insurance adjuster receives your demand letter, they will evaluate it and offer their response to your lawyer. That can take several months or weeks, and they might respond that their driver did not act negligently. The insurance firms might respond in the following ways:
- Accept to pay your demand: the company will offer you your compensation, meaning you will resolve your claim.
- Make a counter-offer: You can move your claim to court or continue with the negotiation when the insurance firm makes a counter-offer. For instance, if you experience an accident in California and are undertaking a California car accident settlement process, and the insurance makes a low offer of $ 7,000 for $25 000 of expenses, you can write back. In such a case, you can make a counter-offer, and you are advised to avoid signing a settlement until you get a fair one. That is where an experienced lawyer will assist you in the negotiation process.
- They do not respond: If the insurance firm fails to respond, you can write a follow-up letter and contact your lawyer to inform you about the proceeding steps.
- Denial and refusal to pay: Although it can happen when there is an issue in the claim process or lack adequate evidence.
Filing a lawsuit
Depending on the experience of your statute of limitations or when your attorney feels that the negotiation is not productive, they might recommend filing a lawsuit. In this case, the jury will conduct their investigations and award you fair compensation.