Car accidents can happen in an instant, but their long-term impacts can change a person’s life. If your car wreck and resultant injuries were due to another driver’s negligence, you should look into your options for filing a claim. If you decide to move forward with a claim, we can work with you to pursue damages such as compensation for medical bills, accident-related lost wages, and more.
Many people who have never filed an accident claim have no idea what to expect when they consult with a lawyer regarding their injury. To help you gain an understanding of the process, we have provided an outline so that you can feel better prepared before booking us for a free consultation.
1. Your Attorney Opens a Claim
After you receive your free consultation with a qualified car accident lawyer and choose to work with them, your attorney will formally file a claim on your behalf, including any potential underinsured motorist claims. The opening of your claim signals a preliminary review of the incident, and the investigation will be completed by an adjuster of the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The adjuster will do an initial examination to determine whether their own insured is at fault using evidence that can come from photos of the scene, the police report, and statements from any available witnesses.
2. You Will Seek Medical Care
If you are injured in an accident, getting evaluated immediately is of utmost importance which is why you should always seek medical care after a wreck. A doctor can determine and document your injuries, prescribing treatment and therapies as necessary. It is important to follow all your doctor’s recommendations including going to all visits, getting recommended X-Rays and MRIs, and following up with any physical therapy recommendations. If necessary, we can also use your medical providers as experts in your case in order to determine the extent and the long-term impacts of your injuries.
3. A Settlement is Generally Offered
Insurance companies are commonly difficult to work with when it comes to car accident claims, and often want to resolve the problem as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Once they realize that a plaintiff is serious about pursuing compensation, they will generally offer an initial settlement to try and resolve the issue. In most cases, this settlement is not nearly enough to make up for the victim’s costs and struggles due to the accident—which is why having a good lawyer is extremely important. Your attorney can negotiate for a better settlement from them on your behalf, ensuring that it will be enough to cover all the impacts the car accident had on your life. If they fail to meet your demands for fair compensation, the case may go to trial.
4. The Claim is Settled or Progresses to Trial
If the insurance company makes an offer that you are satisfied with, you can authorize your attorney to settle your case on your behalf. If not, you can authorize your attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf. The goal of filing a lawsuit is to present your case to a jury to seek a verdict that is higher than what was offered as a settlement. Bringing a case to trial is often more costly than settling outside of court, which is why settlements are popular—but it is wise to choose an attorney that is comfortable in the courtroom just in case a favorable agreement cannot be reached.