Case settlements are usually more efficient, cost-effective and typically faster than trying a car accident case in court. It’s also less stressful and helps you avoid the hassles of making court appearances. An auto accident attorney can help you decide when it’s best to settle or go to court.
Factors Contributing to a Settlement Timeline
The majority of personal injury cases due to a car accident are resolved via settlement. Most people want to recover money as soon as possible since they need it for car repairs, medical bills and other expenses. However, you want to avoid taking a quick settlement, especially if the insurance company of the driver at fault is giving you a lowball estimate.
An experienced car accident lawyer can build your case and help you settle for a higher amount, which can cover all your expenses and everything else you need.
Here are some of the factors that can affect how fast you can settle an accident claim:
- The amount of negotiations involved with the insurer.
- How soon can an insurance broker respond to your request?
- The quantity and quality of the evidence you can gather.
- The extent of the property damage and the injuries you have sustained.
- Other issues that prove or determine the liability for the accident.
An experienced auto accident attorney will gather information about the accident from officers responding to the scene. This data will help determine who was at fault and identify which insurance company to contact for claims processing. Your lawyer also needs to collect medical records and receipts to help substantiate the amount of your claim.
Statute of Limitations
You must file a claim quickly before the statute of limitations expires, which is two years after the accident or date of injury according to Texas laws. However, the amount of time you have available will vary depending on which state the accident occurred. This detail is one of the factors your car accident lawyer will look into before filing a claim on your behalf.
Filing claims sooner also helps build your case since an early filing will allow you to recollect the incident better. Responding officers can also provide more accurate testimonies since the events will still be fresh in their minds. An early settlement also allows you to obtain funds to cover bills and other expenses while you recover from your injuries.
Settlement Process for Car Accident Injuries
Settling a claim refers to resolving a dispute outside of court, which means you don’t have to go to a trial. Most car accident injury cases end in a settlement because it’s the easier option for both parties, and there’s no guarantee of a favorable outcome when you go through a jury trial.
Filing insurance claims allows you to recover damages that you can use for loss of income, property damage, car repairs, medical expenses, pain and suffering. Your auto accident attorney’s first step is gathering medical records, other receipts, photos, video evidence and reliable witness testimonies.
Your lawyer will also advise you not to send your medical records to the insurance company prior to sending a demand letter and filing your claim. The insurer can use this information against you. In addition, your lawyer will also tell you not to give in to the insurance adjuster. An experienced lawyer will make sure that you get a higher settlement.
Next, after all the necessary evidence and documentation have been prepared, your attorney will prepare your demand letter, which lays out all the damage you need to recover and explains all the injuries you have suffered.
The demand letter will be sent to the insurance company of the driver at fault. After that, the insurance company will investigate your claim and will either accept or deny your claim. If your claim is accepted, you’ll have to meet with an insurance adjuster for the settlement offer, which will require negotiations.
You can still appeal the decision if the insurance company denies your claim. If you need to file a suit against the driver at fault, your lawyer will draft a complaint and submit it to the district or county court.
Here are some of the other things your lawyer can help you with during the settlement process:
- Evaluate your case at no cost.
- File a lawsuit on your behalf to pressure the insurance company.
- Advise you to continue medical care until you are released.
- Determine which insurance companies you can collect from.
- Gather details about your injuries and keep a record of all expenses.
Work with an Experienced Accident Lawyer for a Better Settlement
Many variables are involved in a car accident case, so you can’t determine exactly when is the best time to settle. However, retaining the services of an experienced auto accident attorney will help you get the best settlement offer that you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of David Kohm at our convenient locations today and get a free consultation.
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