Your Guide to the Automobile Accident Settlement Process
- July 10, 2015
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Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic and sometimes life-changing experience that, unfortunately, many people will experience in their lifetimes. It can be difficult to decide what to do when it happens to you, but there are several options if you should find yourself the victim of an automotive accident. After compiling your medical reports and accident evidence such as photographs and police reports, it’s time to seek the advice of a trusted personal injury lawyer. Make sure the person you consult with has experience in the kind of cases you are dealing with and knows the state injury laws. If the attorney agrees your case is viable, the next step is to begin the settlement process.
The first step in an automobile accident settlement is talking to an insurance claims adjuster with your personal injury lawyer. This process determines how much compensation you will receive from the insurance company as a result of the accident. Usually, the first thing to be discussed is the hard costs of the accident, or the expenses directly resulting from it, such as auto repair and medical bills. Once the insurance company agrees to cover hard costs, the discussion will move to your injury claim.
Personal Injury Claims
It’s probable that the insurance company will initially refuse to pay for expenses such as extended hospital stays, additional medical treatments, lost wages, physical therapy, or chiropractor appointments. It’s important to keep accurate records of all medical treatments and get a signed statement of any lost wages from your employer on official company letterhead when presenting your claim. The more meticulous your records are, the better you will be able to back up your personal injury claim to the insurance adjuster.
Remember, the adjuster’s goal is to reach a settlement in order to avoid an expensive lawsuit. Usually, an out of court settlement is the quickest, most hassle-free option for all parties involved. If the insurance company fails to make an offer that you and your lawyer feel is satisfactory, however, you may have to pursue a lawsuit in order to get the compensation you need. Make sure you and your attorney are in agreement about the case going to court before you begin the negotiation process.
Calculating a compensation amount can be a difficult process because it involves so much more than just a stack of medical bills. Personal expenses, emotional and physical suffering, and loss of income are all factors that need to be considered when deciding on a settlement amount. Talk with your personal injury attorney before entering negotiations in order to arrive at a figure that accurately represents your damages. There are also online calculators available to help you get a sense of the usual settlement amount in cases like yours.
For more information about automobile accident settlements, contact the experts at Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein today for a free consultation. An auto accident can upset your life, but you should be aware of your options. Get the money you deserve by contacting AEE Law today at (212) 221-5999.