What to Know About the Car Accident Injury Claim Process
25th July 2020
After a car accident, you might be wondering what to expect from an accident injury claim.
Getting Treatment for Injuries
After a car accident, it’s easy to be shaken and scared about what happens and what the proper steps are. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the first step is always to seek medical attention first. This should always be your very first priority in a car accident, especially if you’re more severely injured. The sooner you see a doctor, the more credible your case and your injury will be to the court.
Waiting too long can often lead insurance companies to believe that your pain isn’t real. Therefore, it’s important to receive medical attention as soon as possible. You may also require follow up medical attention and appointments with specialists and therapists. You’ll want to document all of these appointments so you can receive compensation for the money you may have spent out of pocket.
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company
The next step is to report the accident to your care insurance company. You’ll want to file a claim. This will help you to receive money to fix your car or even receive a payout for the total loss of your car. In these situations they’ll ask you how the accident occurred, and for the insurance information of the other driver, if you received it.
During this time, the insurance company of the other driver may also contact you. They may ask you to sign a statement or send them a recorded statement in exchange for a small amount of money. This is often a way to stop people from taking their case to court. It may be tempting to take the small amount of money up front, but usually it’s a bad idea.
Consulting with an Attorney
After speaking with your insurance company, you’ll want to contact an attorney with experience with car accident cases. Sand Law offers free case evaluations, and can help you build your case and make sure that the opposing insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you. An attorney can also help with getting you a better settlement. We can also take some of the weight off of your shoulders by communicating with insurance companies so you don’t have to.
Investigating Liability and Your Medical Conditions
After speaking with an attorney, your attorney should begin to conduct a more in-depth investigation of the accident. They will also check in with you and ask about your medical treatment. A good attorney will also keep track of your medical bills to submit to the insurance company once you have received all required treatment. If your accident requires more in-depth or longer treatment based on permanent pain, your attorney will also submit a request for an in-depth analysis of your condition from the doctor.
Making a Settlement Demand
After your medical conditions are in a stable place, your attorney will begin to submit a settlement demand on your behalf. A settlement occurs when the insurance company pays you out a certain amount of money to keep the case from going to court. However, insurance companies often will try to lowball settlements. Therefore, it’s important to have a lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Case Settles or a Lawsuit is Filed
If the case is settled, both parties agree on the settlement claim made and the case doesn’t go to court. Your attorney will be able to provide you with guidance on whether or not you should accept a settlement or continue on with the case. However, overall it is your decision. If you choose not to settle, your case will be filed with the court. As such, you will continue on with the lawsuit against the insurance company.
The discovery process is a time when both sides are allowed to request more information about the other party. This timeframe often includes interrogations, requisitions for further documentation and even depositions. Depositions allow either side’s attorney to ask questions of any party that has been involved in the lawsuit. This can include any parties included in the accident, any doctors that may have treated you or the at-fault party. The opposing lawyer may also use this opportunity to ask you questions about the accident.
What is Mediation?
Mediation occurs right after the discovery process. It allows a third party mediator to speak with both you and the at-fault party to give both parties one last chance to reach a settlement before the case goes to trial. The mediator doesn’t have much power here, but is more used to facilitate conversation between the two parties.
If the Case Goes to Trial
When mediation is unsuccessful, your case will go to trial. Your trial may take place long after the accident ever occurred. During your trial, all parties will have a change to state their case. For you and your attorney that means proving that the opposing party was negligent and caused your accident. For the opposing party, they will try to prove that their driver wasn’t acting with negligence.
Contact a Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, our talented and experienced attorneys here at Sand Law are ready and willing to help you win your case and receive the compensation that you deserve. For more information, and a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 701-609-1510.