Understanding Car Accident Settlement Claims
While insurance claims following a car accident do not always end with a settlement, you do always have a right to file a claim and try to seek compensation for your injuries. There are various factors that will determine the success of your car accident settlement claim, most importantly, the severity of your injuries. Car accident victims will have a lot of questions after a car crash about how to deal with insurance companies and what kind of settlement offer or help with medical expenses and more that they can expect.
Steps in Seeking a Settlement
Before car accident settlements are even discussed, you’ll have to file an insurance claim with both your own insurance company and the other drivers. In many cases, the insurance company should cover your needs, but it is not always the case, specifically in instances where the other driver does not have adequate insurance or lacks insurance completely.
In addition, Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state meaning that the plaintiff’s percentage of fault must remain at or below 50% to still be eligible for financial recovery. In addition, the courts will look at the percentage of fault the plaintiff held and adjust the damages to be given accordingly. An experienced car accident lawyer can help car accident victims navigate these steps.
Remember — even if the car accident does not result in a settlement, you also have the opportunity to seek compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. To do so, your injuries must be so severe that you may pursue legal action and you must hold the appropriate tort insurance policy.
Learn more about the steps of seeking a settlement in a car accident.
Investigating the Accident
Once the car accident has occurred, the first step of seeking a settlement is the investigation. Police will arrive on scene, ask questions and come to their own conclusion in many cases. However, they sometimes will just put together the information they can gather, and let the insurance companies decide–unless criminal activity was involved.
From there, you will submit your claim to your own insurance company, where they too will conduct an investigation of the accident. The main purpose of all of these investigations is to determine who is at fault, what percentage of fault each driver holds, or if there is a third party issue, such as mechanical failure.
Do not feel as though what the insurance company says is final. You have the right to hire a car accident lawyer to investigate the crash who may find that the initial offer from the insurance company is unfair based on the losses incurred.
Assessing Losses After a Car Accident
If you have faced severe car accident injuries, you may have amassed large medical bills and even lost wages from time away from work while you recovered. Further, severe injuries may require hospitalizations, surgery, and even physical rehab. Know that not all injuries are apparent at the time of the accident; some take days or even weeks to become obvious.
In Pennsylvania, if the compensation needed exceeds the minimum amount allowed under your insurance policy, such as receiving a severe or life-threatening injury, you may be able to seek additional compensation from the at-fault driver via a personal injury lawsuit.
This is often because chronic conditions may create financial losses that seep into the future such as frequent medical bills, loss of work, and diminished quality of life.
Should you seek a personal injury lawsuit after an auto accident, your car accident attorney will help you seek an amount that is comparable to the amount of losses suffered. Accepting a settlement too soon without legal guidance may mean that you are not fairly compensated. This is where negotiation comes in.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Your insurance company may deny your claim or offer an inadequate car accident settlement. Because of this, you can seek legal representation from an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. The most integral component of negotiation with an insurance company is keeping a record of medical bills, prescription drug costs, rehabilitative services, and more. This way there is no question about the damages you have endured, ensuring your car crash case is as strong as it can be.
Do not accept an offer from the insurance company before seeking legal advice after a car accident. If you do, you give up your right to negotiations and future legal action. Seek counsel early on to ensure you are getting the compensation you deserve after a car accident with the help of a trusted legal professional while you focus on your own physical and emotional recovery.
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Wants to Help
If you suffered severe injuries in a car accident due to a negligent driver, you deserve to have your losses recovered. Be it seeking an insurance settlement or legal action against the other driver, you need a personal injury and car accident attorney you can trust.
Contact the personal injury experts at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 570-399-0406, or use our contact form to get any questions about your car accident answered, free of charge. We will get you the maximum compensation and the justice you deserve.