Unfortunately, motor collisions are an almost inevitable occurrence on our busy streets and highways. However, while they are almost universally referred to as accidents, collisions are most often the results of the carelessness or negligent actions of other drivers. Serious accidents often lead to a great deal of emotional distress, severe bodily injury, damage to the car and other properties, and significant financial strain.
If you ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to seek compensation for all losses you incurred through a personal injury claim. This compensation may cover the total cost of your hospital expenses, lost income during your recovery period, damaged properties due to the accident, and settlement for other inconveniences. However, it would strictly depend on the extent of damages caused by the negligent driver, and the degree of their fault in the entire incident.
HOW DOES THE CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT PROCESS WORK?
At this point, this question would likely be popping up in your head. Just like dispute resolution in every other area, car accident settlements are special agreements between victims of car wrecks and the insurance providers of the negligent drivers who caused the wrecks. In most cases, car accident settlements do not take longer than three months to be completed.
This process of getting a car accident settlement requires a thorough investigation of the accident and a firm negotiation session between your Attorney and the Insurance company of the negligent Driver. It is important to get a Car Accident Attorney who would walk you through the Negotiation process as soon as possible.
A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT
STEP 1 – The Accident Scene
- At the scene of the accident, you must first check your physical condition and that of the people in your car. If anyone is severely injured, seek medical attention immediately to avoid further health complications or even loss of lives.
- If you’re safe at the moment, contact the police to immediately get your accident report on file.
- To help your case during negotiations, It is advised that you take pictures and videos of the accident scene and all damages caused.
- Get the contact details of the negligent driver including the car number, model and insurance details.
STEP 2 – Meeting with your Attorney
- Get an experienced car accident Attorney who would negotiate in your favor and ensure that you’re adequately compensated.
- Provide your Attorney with every piece of evidence you’ve got, including the details of your police report, the negligent driver(s) and their insurance companies.
STEP 3 – Issuing a letter of Demand
This is the sole duty of your Attorney who is expected to draft a letter of demand and send it to the insurance company of the negligent driver. However, your Attorney must ensure that the letter of demand has the most important components that will move the insurance company to act in your favor.
The letter must thoroughly describe the event of the accident and all relevant facts must be highlighted. All damages such as bodily injury, medical bills, damaged car, lost income, and other inconveniences must be stated in the letter. Importantly, the Attorney must include a statement of fault where it would be pointed out with sufficient proof that the accident was entirely the fault of the negligent Driver.
THE NEGOTIATION STAGE
Most times, when a letter of demand is sent to an insurance company, they usually send written responses requesting a meeting where negotiations can be made. At this point, you need your car accident Attorney to be present in all meetings to protect your interests and ensure you’re adequately compensated.
If the insurance company thinks you have a good case against their insured driver, they show willingness to pay for the damages during the negotiation stage. However, if they think you do not have a strong case against their insured driver, they may refuse to pay for the damages listed in the letter of demand. At this point, your Attorney may decide to take it to court.
For most accident victims, it is the first time that they go through the insurance claims and legal process which often appears complex and lengthy. Therefore, understanding how it works and knowing what to expect can reduce the frustration and emotional distress in such a situation. Most importantly, hiring an experienced Attorney to protect your rights and manage the entire process would greatly increase your chances at a successful outcome.
Finally, while you’re negotiating a settlement, you must always bear in mind that there are deadlines for filing a lawsuit that differs from state to state. Therefore, you must speak with the Attorney as soon as possible.