How Does a Car Accident Claim Work?
What should you do after a car accident? How does a car accident claim work? Find out from a local car crash lawyer 24/7.
When you need to recover your losses after a car accident, you need to make informed decisions, and you need to avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your insurance claim. In order to do so, you need to know what to do after a car accident, and you need to rely on the advice of an experienced car crash lawyer. So, how does a car accident claim work? Here's what you need to know:
In order to protect your legal rights, the best thing you can do is to hire one of the many local car crash lawyers to handle your insurance claim for you. However, you need to have a basic understanding of your claim as well, and you need to make sure that you know what you need to know in order to avoid costly errors. Here's what you need to know:
How Does a Car Accident Claim Work?
Typically, recovering your losses after a car accident involves filing an insurance claim. While this is something you can do on your own, it is also something that car crash lawyers can handle for you. In fact, without question, hiring an experienced car crash lawyer is the best way to make sure you do not settle for less than you deserve. Here is a brief overview of how a car accident claim works:
- Step #1: You Notify Your Insurance Company about Your Accident – After a car accident, you file a claim with your insurance company. If you were able to obtain the other driver’s insurance information at the scene of the accident, you will give this information to your insurance adjuster at this time as well.
- Step #2: You Get the Medical Treatment You Need – Obtaining medical treatment is a key part of the car insurance claim process. This is because a significant portion of your settlement will be based on the financial and non-financial costs associated with your accident-related injuries. You will need to provide evidence of your medical care to your insurance company at the right time, but you should not sign a blanket authorization, and you should rely on the advice of both a skilled doctor and an experienced car crash lawyer.
- Step #3: You Get Your Car Repaired or Replaced – While your car insurance claim is pending, you should be able to go ahead and get your car repaired or replaced. However, you need to be careful to make sure you receive the full property damage coverage to which you are entitled, and you need to make sure that you do not sign anything that waives your right to fully recover your accident-related losses.
- Step #4: You Calculate Your Financial and Non-Financial Losses – When many people ask, “How does a car accident claim work?”, what they really want to know is, “How do I make sure I receive maximum compensation for my property damage and injuries?” Here, the key is to work with one of your local car crash lawyers to fully calculate your financial and non-financial losses. While your financial losses (i.e. medical bills and lost wages) may be substantial, they may also represent just a small fraction of the total coverage to which you are entitled.
- Step #5: You Keep Up with Your Medical Treatment – Car accident claims take time. While your claim is pending, it will be extremely important for you to keep up with your medical treatment. If you start missing doctor’s appointments or ignoring your doctor’s advice, the insurance companies may try to use this against you.
- Step #6: You Negotiate for a Favorable Settlement – Once you have a clear picture of your financial and non-financial losses, then you can begin the process of negotiating a settlement. Here, too, it is strongly in your best interests to have a car crash lawyer working on your behalf. Your lawyer can use his or skill to negotiate for maximum compensation, and he or she can help you make an informed decision about when (and if) to settle your car accident claim.
- Step #7: You Take Your Claim to Court if Necessary – When it comes to the final stages of how car accident claims work, most successful claims result in a negotiated settlement. However, many people settle for far too little because either: (i) they do not know how much they are entitled to recover; or, (ii) they haven’t hired car crash lawyers who are prepared to take their case to court. If a fair settlement isn’t on the table, then you need to have a lawyer who is ready to fight for your rights at trial.
Here are 10 Important Facts about Car Accident Claims
Now that you have a basic understanding of how a car accident claim works, it’s time to focus on what you need to know in order to file a successful claim. Here are our Top 10 Facts for Car Accident Victims:
Fact #1: It Is Up To You to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you are thinking about filing an insurance claim and wondering how does a car accident claim work, one of the most-important facts you need to know is that it is up to you to protect your legal rights. No one else is going to do it for you—and this includes your insurance adjuster. In order to collect the coverage to which you are entitled, you need to take control of your claim, and this starts with hiring an experienced car crash lawyer to represent you.
Fact #2: The Insurance Company is Not Going to Offer a Fair Settlement
When you file an insurance claim after suffering serious injuries in an accident, you may receive a settlement offer fairly quickly. If you do, it will be important for you to understand that the offer is almost certainly for far less than you deserve. Unfortunately, that is just how car accident claims work. The insurance companies want to pay as little as possible, so they will often try to temp accident victims with offers that seem like a lot of money—but which only account for a small fraction of their accident-related losses.
Fact #3: You Could Have Multiple Insurance Claims
Depending on the circumstances of your accident and the state in which you live, you could potentially have multiple insurance claims. This includes claims under your insurance policy (i.e. a personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy) as well as claims under the other driver’s policy. If multiple vehicles were involved, you may need to pursue a claim under each at-fault driver’s policy in order to fully recover your losses—car insurance claims for multi-vehicle accidents work differently in different states. When it comes to answering the question, "How does a car accident claim work?", the answer is different for different types of policies, so you will want to work with one of your local car crash lawyers who can effectively assert your legal rights.
Fact #4: You Could Also Have One or More “Third Party” Claims
While most car accidents involve auto insurance claims, many accidents involve what are known as “third party” claims as well. These are claims against parties other than the other driver (or drivers) involved in the accident. These claims work very differently from car accident insurance claims; and, in order to file a successful third-party claim, you will need to hire a car crash lawyer. Some examples of common third-party claims include:
- A claim against the other driver’s employer
- A claim against a vehicle manufacturer
- A claim against a repair shop or dealership
- A claim against a state or local road authority
- A claim against a bar or restaurant that overserved a drunk driver
Fact #5: Protecting Your Health is Key to Protecting Your Legal Rights
As a car accident victim, protecting your health is key to protecting your legal rights. This means that you need to see a doctor promptly, and you need to follow your doctor’s advice. Another important fact about how car accident claims work is that the insurance companies will look for any excuse to blame victims for their own losses and use this to deny payment of just compensation.
Fact #6: You Don’t Have To Deal with the Insurance Companies on Your Own
You do not have to deal with the insurance companies on your own. Experienced car crash lawyers can deal with the insurance companies for you—and they can help you secure compensation above and beyond what you could realistically hope to secure by yourself. In fact, even taking car crash lawyers' contingency fees into account, you are still likely to recover far more if you hire a lawyer to represent you.
Fact #7: Your Losses Could Be Significantly More Than You Think
One of the main reasons why unrepresented car accident victims settle for too little is because they do not have a clear understanding of how much they are entitled to recover. If you were injured in the accident, you are entitled to compensation for your financial and non-financial losses—including your pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, calculating these losses is not easy, and convincing the insurance companies to compensate you for your non-financial losses is even harder. Making sure you recover these losses is one of the most-important reasons to hire a car accident lawyer to represent you. If you are wondering how does a car accident claim work, a key factor you need to keep in mind is that it is up to you to make sure you accurately calculate your accident-related losses.
Fact #8: You Cannot Afford to Settle Your Insurance Claim Too Soon
Once you settle your car accident claim, it’s over. This is another critical fact about how car accident claims work. You only get one chance; and, if you blow it, you will be forced to live with the consequences for years to come—if not the rest of your life.
Fact #9: It Costs Nothing Out of Pocket to Hire a Car Crash Lawyer
When you have a car accident claim, it costs nothing out of pocket to hire one of the many local car crash lawyers to represent you. With contingency-fee representation, you do not pay anything up front, and you do not pay anything at all unless your lawyer helps you secure a settlement or verdict.
Fact #10: Car Crash Lawyers are Available to Speak with You 24/7
If you have been injured in a car accident and need to know, "How does a car accident claim work?", you do not have time to wait. Delays can be costly, and other types of mistakes can jeopardize your legal rights. Fortunately, car crash lawyers are available to speak with you 24/7. To contact an attorney for car accidents near you, get started with a free online claim assessment now.