How Are Car Accident Cases Settled?
Most cases involving auto accidents are resolved outside of court. This is beneficial to accident victims because it means they will receive the compensation they require without having to wait for a trial. However, the procedure can be challenging, and errors could cost you a sizable portion of the money you require to rebuild your life. Even if you do not want to go to court, Cunnane Law can assist you in settling your case fairly and quickly.
Firstly, Contact the Insurance Company
Notifying the insurance company of your claim is the first step in the settlement process. This alerts the insurance company that you intend to file a claim. This step can be difficult because the insurance company will question you extensively about your accident. Some of these questions are relatively harmless; the insurance company will need your contact information, the make and model of your car, and the location and time of the accident.
Other questions may pose difficulties. They may inquire as to whether you have been injured and seek your opinion on the cause of the accident. How you respond to these questions could very well jeopardize your claim in the future. The best course of action, if you have been hurt in a car accident, is to call Cunnane Law and let us deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Secondly, Do Your Homework
Collecting all of the accident-related documentation is the next step in the settlement process. This will consist of the following:
- A copy of the police accident report
- Copies of your medical records detailing your accident-related injuries, prescribed treatment, prognosis, and any limitations caused by your injuries.
- Copies of all bills, including medical bills, estimates for repairing or replacing your vehicle, documentation for lost wages, and any other monetary losses
- Photographs of your injuries, vehicle damage, and the accident scene
- Any other records or notes you may have that detail how your injuries affect your day-to-day activities, such as your inability to care for your family, engage in hobbies and other activities, or perform basic daily tasks.
If you are in pain and finding it difficult to get through each day, this step may be challenging. An Edmonds car accident lawyer can assist you with this step, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Third step: Calculate the Value of Your Claim
After gathering your documentation, you must determine the value of your claim. In other words, you are estimating how much compensation you will require to be made whole. Your damage claim will include the following:
- Your out-of-pocket medical costs, such as co-pays and deductibles, as well as any medical expenses that are covered by your health insurance.
- Your lost earnings if you are unable to work as a result of the accident or must take time off to attend doctor’s appointments and physical therapy.
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
- Your emotional pain and anxiety.
The majority of non-attorneys settle their cases for much less than they are worth, which leaves them with unpaid bills. An experienced Edmonds car accident lawyer can estimate the total value of your claim and then ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses.
Fourth step: Submit the Demand Letter
Once you’ve determined a reasonable estimate of the compensation you deserve, send a letter to the insurance company demanding that they pay that amount. There is no set format to follow, but the letter should include enough detail and supporting documentation to back up your claim. An Edmonds car accident lawyer can draft an effective demand letter that makes a strong case.
Fifth step: Negotiate the Claim
Insurance companies never really pay the full amount demanded. Instead, they will make a counter-offer. You now have the option of accepting the counter-offer or making a fresh offer. Working with an Edmonds car accident lawyer in this situation can be very beneficial because they can use both their negotiating skills and their knowledge of auto accident claims to help you get the best possible settlement.
Car Accident Injured? Contact Edmonds Car Accident Attorney Joe Cunnane for Assistance Settling Your Claim
It is more complicated than you might expect to settle your claim. Contact Cunnane Law for assistance in protecting your right to fair compensation. Call 425-672-7100 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you.
Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.