Did you know that 42,915 people died in car accidents in 2021? An increase of over 10% from 2020.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you’ll no doubt be grateful that you are not one of those who died. But that doesn’t make your accident any less stressful. You may be wondering how long it will take to file a claim, when will you be back where you were before the accident.
That’s the question lawyers get asked most often by people who have been in an accident. They want to know how long it will take before they can get back on the road again.
In this post, we’ll go over what is involved in filing a car accident claim after an auto accident.
WHAT ARE CAR ACCIDENTS CLAIMS?
A car accident claim is a formal request for financial compensation from an insurance company within the law.
Car accidents can be caused by a wide range of circumstances, including physical contact between two vehicles or objects. Another issue is internal mechanical problems within a vehicle (such as faulty brakes). A common problem is also flaws in the road surface. These may cause loss of control over your vehicle during acceleration or deceleration (a pothole is a common example).
INSURANCE POLICIES FOR CAR ACCIDENTS
Insurance policies for car accidents can vary widely. If you’re not the person who caused the accident, but you were injured by it, your car insurance may or may not cover you. It is a good idea to read and understand the type of car insurance you purchased.
However, if you are simply driving and the other party crashes into you, that party’s insurance will and should pay for the damages you suffered.
There are situations where no insurance policy will cover the losses suffered. But in order to be sure, you should seek the advice of a lawyer who has experience handling accidents.
FILE A CLAIM
The first step in filing a personal injury claim is to contact your insurance company. You can do so by calling them directly or filing an online claim. The latter option is often the easiest for people who have been hurt in an accident and may not feel capable of talking to anyone over the phone right away.
Of course, whenever you hire a lawyer you need to make sure you’ve picked the right personal injury lawyer for you.
When you reach out to your insurance company, be prepared to provide them with information about the incident so they can begin processing your claim. This may include the name of the other driver involved. It could also include the location where the accident occurred. Most of the times, the insurance companies will ask for a recorded statement. I would advise against giving a recorded statement.
BEGIN AN INVESTIGATION
The insurance company will begin an investigation within a few days of the accident.
The police may also conduct an independent investigation. This can take weeks, and sometimes, several months. Many times they’ll wait and let the insurance company to do their own investigation before starting theirs.
If both parties agree on fault and damages, it’s possible for them to settle out of court. This is before either party has begun investigating anything (or even hired an attorney).
This doesn’t happen often because insurance companies want to pay as little as possible to resolve each claim. Many times, the insurance companies will even mail a check to the injured person, a check for a small amount and as soon as the person cashes that check, the case is closed. And if later on, that person needs additional medical treatment for the injuries sustained in the accident, the insurance will not pay anything else. That’s another reason why you really should consider talking to an injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you investigate your case, hire investigators and use that when negotiating settlement terms. This is the reality of filing claims and getting in a car accident in 2020.
It’s not so much that the U.S. is a litigious society. Law firms know that medical costs are high, and each side wants to make sure they are fairly compensated.
NEGOTIATIONS FOR A SETTLEMENT
Typically, settlement negotiations begin once the insurance companies receive your medical records and other documentation regarding the damages you suffered as a result of the accident. The amount of time it takes to settle a claim will vary depending on the severity of the accident, how much damage was done, and medical treatment.
The insurance company may offer you an initial settlement proposal as soon as they start investigating your claim, but this is always only an opening offer. If you’re not happy with their offer or if you want more money than they are offering, then you can ask for some time to think about it before accepting or rejecting their offer.
If there were any witnesses who saw what happened at the scene of the accident (and there were not), then those witnesses might be called upon to provide additional information about what happened. The amount of evidence and the quality of the evidence of your losses are important during negotiations for a settlement. A lawyer can help you with collecting that evidence.
THE SEVERITY OF THE ACCIDENT
The length of time it takes to file a claim depends on the severity of the accident, the amount of medical treatment needed, and the amount of property damage. The longer it takes, then more likely, more money you will receive. If you are interested in filing an injury claim, then you should do so as soon as possible because this will help ensure that all of your expenses and all your losses are taken into consideration for compensation purposes.
In some cases, people need medical attention immediately after being involved in an accident. In these instances where immediate treatment is required for injuries sustained during a car accident such as whiplash or concussion (for example), or head injuries (mild traumatic brain injuries), individuals should seek out medical attention.
It does not matter whether there’s not a lot of visible property damage. Many times people suffer serious head/brain injuries in incidents where there is not a lot of damages to their car. Head injuries are serious. If you experience head or any type of pain following an accident, you should immediately seek medical attention regardless of the amount of property damage caused to the vehicles involved.
FILE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM TODAY
If you’ve been in an accident, it can be a stressful situation. However, there are processes in place to help make things easier for both parties involved and ensure that everyone gets compensated fairly.
Whether you’re filing your own claim or working with an insurance agent, our team has provided some helpful tips on how long it takes to file a car accident claim.
Be sure to contact us today for help with your car accident claim in the North Myrtle Beach area, South Carolina.