Car accidents complicate your life.
There are certainly the headaches of car repairs and dealing with the insurance company. But major car accidents come along with other stressful issues like treating serious injuries, strained finances from lost wages and medical expenses, and possibly life-altering disabilities.
Filing car accident claims for a personal injury lawsuit is often complex, so it’s a good thing there’s a tried-and-true process for getting the insurance company to compensate you as quickly and easily as possible for your injuries.
The Ultimate Car Accident Injury Settlement Process includes five phases:
An experienced Columbus personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process so you can focus on what’s important – recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life.
The first phase of the car accident settlement process is when your lawyer investigates your crash and decides whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim. Your legal team reviews all the relevant facts of the car accident case that are initially available in order to determine if the other driver or some other party was at fault for the collision. This is to ensure that liability can be established.
If fault can be established and a negligent party outside of yourself can be determined responsible for your injuries, a car accident attorney will be able to take on your personal injury case.
Your medical treatment may have been initiated directly following your car crash and before the claim investigation phase. However, the treatment phase of the car accident settlement process is where your medical treatment is examined and medical records related to the accident are compiled.
A lawyer will follow up with you every 30 days or so to make sure your medical care is progressing and you’re receiving all the treatments you need to recover.
The biggest focus during this phase is either getting your injuries completely healed or getting you to maximum medical improvement. You don’t want to arrive at a settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries.
The demand package is an important phase of the car accident settlement process. It contains the creation of a demand letter, which outlines the damages incurred due to the car wreck you experienced.
The demand letter can list both compensatory and non-economic damages, the most common of which include:
During the demand prep phase, your attorney will gather all pertinent evidence in order to bolster your case and increase the value of your car accident claim before the demand package is sent to the insurance adjuster.
Once you and your lawyer are satisfied with the settlement demand package, it is sent to the insurance claim adjuster so that negotiations can ensue. The adjuster can request additional documentation so that they can evaluate the value of your case. In most cases, the insurance company will return with an initial settlement offer.
Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are working for the insurance company of the accident’s at-fault driver. They will try everything they can to reduce your settlement amount or invalidate your car accident claim altogether.
During the fifth and final stage of the car accident settlement process, your lawyer will review the initial offer with you and determine whether they think it’s a fair offer. This is where legal representation really comes in handy because it’s sometimes difficult for an injured party to decide whether the insurance company’s offer is acceptable.
In many cases, your lawyer will make a counter-demand, maximizing your claim by negotiating additional medical expenses or health insurance liens.
Hopefully, both you and your lawyer are satisfied with the insurance company’s final offer, and you can move toward final reimbursement, which typically comes in the form of a check from the insurance company.
If the out-of-court settlement offer is unacceptable, car accident lawyers will be willing to go to bat for you in a court trial for your case.
When someone who has suffered injuries goes through the process alone, their ultimate auto accident settlement agreement tends to be lower than it would be with the help of experienced personal injury lawyers.
Aside from the expert negotiation skills that lead to larger car accident settlements on average, having a personal injury lawyer on your side after a car accident gives you the benefits of:
Not everyone has the knowledge and legal expertise to go to battle against a big car insurance company. You don’t ever have to brave that road alone.
A car crash is stressful and painful enough on its own. You don’t have to navigate the complicated process involved in most car accident claims by yourself. You can have a legal team on your side.
If you’ve been injured in an Ohio car accident, a truck accident, or even a pedestrian accident, reach out to an experienced personal injury law firm and maximize your compensation in your car accident lawsuit.