Not all insurance claims following car accidents result in settlements. The severity of your injuries as well as who bears liability usually determines your settlement following a car accident. While you do not always get a settlement from a car accident, you always have the right to file a claim and try to seek compensation.
Before you can receive any financial award, you have to file an insurance claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or your own. Typically, the negligent party’s insurance should cover your losses, but in some cases, the negligent driver does not have enough coverage or lacks insurance altogether. Additionally, you may share part of the blame for the accident, in which case, your settlement would see a reduction based on your percentage of fault if you live in a state that observes comparative negligence laws.
While you do not always get a settlement from a car accident, you may also have the option to seek a court-awarded sum through a personal injury lawsuit. Your injuries must prove severe enough to warrant pursuing legal action, and you may even do so after exhausting coverage from an insurance policy.
Investigating the Accident
The process of seeking an insurance settlement begins with the investigation of the accident. The police will conduct an investigation when they arrive at the scene of the accident, and insurance companies may conduct their own investigations in the aftermath when a claim arises. The main purpose of these investigations is to determine who caused the accident or what percentage of the accident falls on each driver. An investigation could even reveal a third party to be at fault.
If you do not believe the insurance company appropriately assessed your share of the fault in an accident, you have the right to hire a car accident lawyer to further investigate the crash. Depending on the specifics of your case, they may find an initial offer an insurance company makes you to be an unfair amount based on your losses.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have accumulated extensive medical bills and face lost wages from time you had to take off of work while you recovered. Severe injuries usually require hospitalizations, surgery, and long-term rehabilitative care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accident injuries result in hundreds of thousands of visits to the emergency room a year.
Some states have laws allowing a victim to file a personal injury lawsuit for severe injuries that result in substantial losses. Part of the reason for this is also due to the fact that the expense of these losses can easily continue into a victim’s unforeseeable future. Chronic medical conditions and debilitating injuries can continue to cost a victim thousands of dollars in medical care. According to Pain, chronic wide-spread pain can last for up to a year after the impact of a car accident. Prescription medications, therapy, and other forms of treatment can add up over the years.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you want to make sure you seek what would amount to fair financial recovery for your losses. The point of insurance settlements or court-awarded offers is to help the victims recover their economic and noneconomic losses in the wake of a sudden tragedy. The last thing you want to accept is a settlement that does not fairly compensate you for your suffering.
Negotiating with Insurers
Insurance companies may outright deny your claim or offer you a settlement that does not fairly compensate you. You have the right to seek a lawyer to negotiate with insurers on your behalf. During negotiations, you may have to provide evidence for your losses, so keeping medical bills and prescription receipts can help you establish your losses for your claim.
An important thing to keep in mind is that if you accept an offer from an insurance company, it often prevents you from seeking further compensation later on through legal action. Part of the reason people seek legal counsel and representation is to help them seek fair compensation while they focus on their health and recovery.
Shaw Legal Solutions Wants to Help
If you suffered severe injuries due to a negligent driver, you deserve to seek fair financial recovery from them through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Even if you bear partial fault for the accident, you may still qualify for compensation for your losses.
While you do not always get a settlement from a car accident, you have the right to seek legal support while investigating your options. We advocate for car accident victims who suffered severe injuries through no fault of their own. For your free consultation, call us today at (425) 214-4946.