If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re probably going through a lot of uncertainty. Not only have you been seriously hurt, the wreck has likely taken an emotional toll as well. Your medical bills are piling up, and you have no idea how you’ll be able to replace your car. You are likely wondering where you go from here. And how you go about getting the money you deserve from the at-fault driver. These are the steps involved in a car accident personal injury claim.
The attorneys with Sand Law would like to share some information on what you can expect as your car accident case progresses. We’ve achieved a long track record of success in cases similar to yours, and we know what needs to be done in order to give you the best possible chance of obtaining full and fair compensation.
Step 1: File Your Personal Injury Claim
So, you’ve suffered a severe injury and you’re certain that the other driver is to blame. The first thing you’ll want to do is to hire an attorney so they can help you file your personal injury claim. Your attorney will find out what kind of insurance that at-fault driver has, and will then tell you how they will go about helping you get the money you have coming from the insurer.
But what if that driver didn’t have insurance, or didn’t have sufficient insurance to cover your expenses? Your legal representative will tell you what other options you may have when it comes to pursuing the at-fault motorist’s assets.
Step 2: The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company will Investigate the Accident
If that driver is covered, their insurer isn’t going to simply ask you what you want and cut a check. It would be nice if they stepped up and did the right thing, but that’s not realistic. Instead, the insurance company is going to investigate to determine exactly who was at fault.
This investigation may involve some tactics that are questionable, to say the least. An insurance company adjuster might try to get in touch with you, supposedly to get your account of what happened.
Don’t fall for it.
That adjuster won’t be interested in uncovering the truth. Instead, they’ll try to get you to say something to hurt your case, to trick you into saying the wreck was either partially or totally your fault. That’s why you should never have any sort of communication with the other driver’s insurance company. Refer all of their calls or letters to your attorney.
The insurer won’t be the only party that will investigate the wreck, however. Your attorney will be doing the same thing, looking for whatever evidence they can find in an effort to make your case as strong as possible. At Sand Law, we have extensive experience doing just that. Our firm has the skill and the resources it takes to perform an incredibly detailed investigation, and to uncover the proof you need to win.
Step 3: Your Claim will be Approved or Denied
There’s a chance the insurer will actually approve your claim after its investigation, and offer a fair settlement. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t count on this happening. Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims, because they will often do anything they can to protect their profits. They might say, for instance, that you were actually to blame because you were speeding, or come up with some other excuse.
But just because your claim may be denied, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to accept that decision. Your attorney will actually expect a denial, and will know exactly how to make sure your rights are protected.
Step 4: An Attorney will Help You Seek a Fair Settlement
If the insurance company does happen to approve the claim, it will then make a settlement offer. You would think that offer will be a fair one, but the more likely scenario is that it won’t. If it’s not, an attorney will work to convince the insurer to actually give you what you deserve. They’ll do so by convincing them you have the truth on your side, and that you would prevail should the matter go to court.
Step 5: If They Won’t Agree, You’ll Proceed to Mediation and the Filing of Your Lawsuit
If the insurer still isn’t convinced, then your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf in order to protect your rights. But don’t assume that means you’re going to wind up in a courtroom. A settlement could still occur at any time – in fact, more than 90% of lawsuits are settled before a trial begins.
One way to avoid a trial is mediation. This is where the victim, the victim’s attorney, and an insurance company representative meet with a neutral mediator. The mediator will work to get all parties to agree to a fair settlement. If successful, your attorney and the insurance company will prepare the necessary documents, and the insurer will issue a check. The pending lawsuit will then be dismissed.
But even if mediation doesn’t work, that still doesn’t mean that a trial will actually take place. Again, insurance companies hate going to court. It takes a great deal of time, and it costs them a whole lot of money. They might wait until the last minute, but there will still be a good chance the insurer will finally relent and provide you with full and fair compensation.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney to Start the Process ASAP
At Sand Law, we fully understand what you’re going through. Not only are you hurt, you’re also probably very upset. But we also know that the faster you get legal help, the sooner you’ll be able to get the compensation that’s coming to you so you can put all of your focus on your recovery, and put this horrible event behind you for good.