If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to seek damages via a personal injury claim. However, in the aftermath of a car accident, dealing with injuries while also navigating the complicated car accident settlement process can make for a long, tough road to recovery if you don’t understand how the settlement process works.
When pursuing a car accident injury claim, there are a variety of steps to take, including gathering information at the scene, contacting insurance providers, and — in some cases — connecting with a car accident injury attorney to reach a settlement, either via negotiation or by going to court.
Although it’s uncertain how long or complicated your particular case may be, finding a car accident attorney near you is often the best route to help streamline the settlement process and ensure that you and your family get the compensation you deserve. The following are the typical steps that happen during the settlement process.
Gathering Information and Investigation
Whether or not you choose to work with a car accident attorney, one of the most important steps of the settlement process is gathering information as quickly and thoroughly as possible after the incident. This helps the insurance companies conduct their individual investigations of the accident to help determine who was at fault, and it gives you and your car accident injury lawyer ample evidence to support your claim in court if needed.
The pieces of information to gather immediately after an accident include:
- Police report of the accident
- Photo or video of the car(s) involved and the scene
- Witness statements
- Involved driver statements
- Medical records
- Financial records showing financial damages as a result of the accident
- Journal entries, social media account information, and family and friend statements that prove injury, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering
Once a claims adjuster has the chance to review this information, they will conduct their investigation, make a determination of the at-fault party, and provide their settlement offer.
Review Settlement Offer and Insurance Coverages
Once you have received a settlement offer, it’s important to review it as well as the coverages offered by your and the other involved parties’ insurance companies. In “at-fault” accidents, the at-fault driver’s insurance is who typically offers compensation; however, not all drivers have comprehensive collision coverage, and some may not have insurance at all.
That is why it’s essential to get expert insight from medical professionals, mental health experts, and automobile repair specialists to fully understand the depth of your damages. It is also why many victims choose to partner with an experienced car accident lawyer to review coverages and any settlement offers from insurance companies to determine if the compensation is sufficient.
Negotiations, Filing Suit, and Going to Court
Should the settlement offer not be sufficient, the next steps include negotiating with the insurance companies and potentially filing a lawsuit. Although most car accident settlements are handled without a lawsuit or going to court, some cases warrant a more in-depth approach. After advocating on your behalf and negotiating with insurers, your car accident attorney will help you determine if filing a lawsuit is the best choice for you.
If an acceptable settlement offer cannot be reached through negotiations following a lawsuit, your car accident lawyer will represent you in court proceedings. They will tell you what to expect, advise you on what to say, and walk you through each step of the trial. When dealing with complicated cases or rigid insurers who try to lowball you with sub-par offers, reputable car accident injury lawyers can make sure you and your family are taken care of.
The Lopez Law Group Can Help
The car accident lawyers at The Lopez Law Group have decades of combined experience representing clients in a variety of car accident injury cases. We are dedicated to making the settlement process easier, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions, and getting victims the compensation they deserve.
Our Texas-based car accident law firm is proud to serve Weslaco, Mission, McAllen, Laredo, Edinburg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Houston, Tyler, Spring, and other locations throughout the state. Contact us online or call (956) 968-7800 to schedule your free case consultation.