If you’ve been in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation that you’re not aware of…
The moments, hours, and days after a bad car accident are always a whirlwind, whether you’re at fault or the victim. You’re usually focused on your health, the expenses related to the damage to your vehicle, and dealing with the other person and their insurance company.
Often, the last thing you’re thinking about is the car accident settlement that you might be owed. In this post, we’re going to lay out what steps you need to take in determining your settlement amount and how to go about getting that money.
Getting what you deserve doesn’t make you the bad guy, though it might feel that way sometimes. Many settlements happen out of court and those that don’t are usually speedy cases. Don’t let your expenses set you back when they don’t have to. Let’s settle this thing the right way.
How to Sort Out Your Car Accident Settlement
As we stated earlier, it’s hard to think about getting a settlement right after an accident. You’re going to be preoccupied with a lot of other stuff. It’s important to get it sorted out quickly for a multitude of reasons, but mainly so that you can get on with your life.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re the victim of a car wreck that has caused you bodily harm, then you’re entitled to compensation through an injury claim. It can cover medical expenses and lost wages, in addition to acting as financial compensation for your suffering.
How Does the Settlement Process Work?
If you’ve never gone through the car accident settlement process, you might be a little naive about what it entails. It’s not so simple as submitting a claim to the other driver’s insurance provider and getting the money.
It usually involves an investigation, which sometimes lasts for quite a while. A lot of times, you’re dealing with quite large sums of money, so the situation needs to be thoroughly considered.
After that, there’s usually a negotiation process between your attorney and the insurance company. At this point, you’ll either settle out of court or if you can’t reach an agreement, a lawsuit and court appearance will result.
Most of the time, these things can be resolved quickly with little hassle. In some cases, though, it can become a long drawn out process, especially if the evidence of the relationship between your long-term injuries and the car accident is hard to prove.
First, you’ll go through the investigation of exactly what happened during the event.
An insurance claims adjuster will review the evidence that you’ve given to determine its validity. This might include the police report of the accident, photos of the accident, statements from any witnesses, the other driver’s statement, and medical records proving that you’ve been injured as a result of the accident.
Sometimes, the adjuster will talk to an expert to give insight into what you might have gone through and any mechanical malfunctions that might’ve taken place. With a personal injury claim, a doctor will probably be consulted as an expert to figure out how the events of the accident have affected your immediate and long-term well being.
When a settlement amount is determined, your medical bills are taken into account, but also any future medical hardships that you might face because of this event.
Depending on where you live in the US, you’ll be able to determine where the compensation will come from.
In some states, when you’re injured in a crash, you’ll have to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. In the likely event that their policy doesn’t cover all of the damages, you’ll have to go through your own provider to get the difference.
One of the first things that you and your attorney will do is review these policies to determine what your pre-lawsuit settlement offer will be. Most accidents are settled out of court, which saves a lot of headaches if the crash wasn’t too serious.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will send you a settlement offer, you and your attorney will together determine if it’s acceptable and either take the settlement or file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you and your attorney have determined that the given settlement amount is insufficient, then you’ll file a lawsuit. This doesn’t mean that the case can no longer be settled in court, as your lawyer and the insurance provider will have an ongoing conversation.
It does mean that you and the other driver’s insurance provider are far enough apart on a compensation number that a third party needs to be involved. The court process is simple; both parties present their cases and examine witnesses, then the jury will make a decision and the judge will read it.
Both parties have an opportunity to appeal the verdict if they remain unhappy with the turnout. As you might guess, it can get pretty drawn out when one of these cases goes to court. It’s much quicker and often cheaper to come to an agreement outside of court, which you can still do even after the court process.
Get a Trusted Attorney Today
When you find yourself in a bad auto accident, there are things that you know you need to do. First, you need to make sure that everyone involved is safe and healthy. Injuries don’t always manifest themselves right away, though.
You might find out in the days and weeks after the event that there’s something wrong. In this case, you need to see a doctor and find out if you’re feeling this way because of the trauma from the accident, then you need to talk to an attorney.
If you get hurt in the Long Island or Nassau County area, then you need to visit us at the Falkowitz Law Firm. Gary Falkowitz and the Falkowitz Law Firm is one of New York’s finest personal injury lawyers. We can help you get the right car accident settlement quickly so you can get on with your life. Call 844-GET-GARY today.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.