So you’ve been in a car accident and now you’re wondering what the car accident settlement process is and how it works.
If you have physical or property damage following a car accident, you’re able to file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries, repairs, lost time, and pain and suffering.
Exactly how does the settlement process work? It may not be a quick or easy process, but it’s necessary in order to receive the compensation you deserve.
Filing an Insurance Claim After Your Car Accident
Many drivers carry car insurance to protect themselves and their vehicle in case of an auto accident. Sadly, if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of being involved in a car crash, you might learn that not everyone carries insurance on themselves or their vehicles.
You also might learn that it’s not easy to have your car accident claim approved by an insurance provider to actually be paid. If the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance coverage, you’ll need to file a claim with your auto insurance.
To file a claim with an insurance company, you’ll need to prepare a few things to send with your demand letter so your claim can be reviewed:
- The police report from the accident
- Photos of your vehicle and the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Other driver’s information
Once the information is provided to the insurance companies, they’ll do an investigation based on the information provided. They may also send an insurance claims adjuster as part of the information gathering and investigation process.
Understanding the general car accident settlement timeline can help you be prepared. Many insurance companies have a standard formula for a car accident settlement offer, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept their offer for your personal injury claim.
Filing a Lawsuit After Your Car Crash
Sometimes you’re unable to file a claim and reach a settlement directly with the insurance company and you need to move forward with litigation. This may be especially true if you were hit by a person driving under the influence.
Contact an experienced attorney who offers a free consultation so they can learn about your case. Let them tell you how they would handle your case and share what kind of settlement you could expect, along with other legal advice.
Your lawyer will contact the insurance provider on your behalf. They’ll also gather information necessary for your case, contact experts on your behalf, and use their legal knowledge and experience to get you the best settlement possible.
Settling Out of Court
With the help of your attorney, you may be able to settle with the insurance company without having to go to court. Your lawyer will be able to determine what would be fair and reasonable compensation for your case. They’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and work to get you the best settlement possible.
Going to Trial
If you’re unable to settle your claim directly with the insurance company or out of court, you may need to go to trial. Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. They’ll also assist you with preparing what will be presented to the court and jury who will make the decision on your case.
Reaching a Settlement Agreement
Eventually, you’ll reach a settlement agreement in your personal injury claim. Car accident settlements may include compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Other damages related to your personal injury case
The settlement amount with the insurance company will vary case by case based on the specific details of your case. Contacting a car accident attorney will help you get a fair and reasonable settlement.
About the Author
Christian is a Tampa, Florida, Trial Lawyer with Denmon & Pearlman trial lawyers. A truly progressive firm offers fixed fee engagements, service guarantees and focuses on picking the right process to lead to a principled settlement for clients. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.