Car accidents are scary, but the legal complications that go along with getting reimbursed for medical expenses after one can be even more intimidating sometimes. Here are some of the most common questions people ask personal injury lawyers about car accident settlements:
- What Do I Do After a Car Accident?
Many people wonder what to do after car accidents that will help them navigate legal issues down the road related to property damage and personal injury. While the first thing you should always do is seek medical attention, there are some steps after a car accident that can be legally beneficial later. Always call the police so there will be an official report on record (if anyone is hurt, it’s probably required by law in your area anyway), and gather as much evidence as you can by taking pictures of all the cars involved, as well as the surrounding area. You can also jot down some notes in case you’re not sure your memory will stay clear.
- What Are My Legal Options If I’m Injured?
There are two basic options if you’re hurt in a car accident: car accident injury claims and personal injury lawsuits. Car accident injury claims are negotiated between you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The appeal of this route is that it can help you to avoid a lengthy court battle. The downside is that the settlement will likely be limited by the driver’s policy, and the insurance company may refuse to pay enough to cover the expenses caused by the crash. While it’s possible to skip the claims negotiation process and file a lawsuit immediately after an accident, lawsuits are usually seen as a last resort if negotiations break down. Whether you want to spend more time negotiating a claim or whether you’re ready to dive into a lawsuit, you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer to look out for your legal rights — remember, the insurance company will have an entire legal team with the goal of paying out as little as possible to you.
- What Are the Odds I’ll Get the Money I Need?
There are quite a few factors that affect the value of a car accident settlement. These include the severity of your injuries and how you can support your claims (medical documents, treatment history, etc.), whether the fault for the accident was shared or exclusively the other driver’s, and what the driver was doing to cause the accident. Before filing a lawsuit, you should talk to your attorney about the realistic odds of getting a larger settlement based on the evidence at hand. There are costs associated with a lawsuit, so you don’t want to gamble without at least a reasonable belief you can be successful in your case.
What other questions do you have about getting fair compensation through car accident injury claims or lawsuits? Join the discussion in the comments.