After you have been seriously hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it is important to get legal advice regarding your ability to file for compensation. Some victims who are seriously injured in accidents caused by other parties may be eligible to recover damages associated with the accident, especially if you can show that the other person was responsible for causing this accident and that their negligent actions caused you to suffer significant pain.
Some of the most common types of accidents that lead to these lawsuits include vehicle accidents, such as pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, drunk driving accidents, distracted driving accidents, and more. However, you may also visit with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer regarding other types of accidents, such as a slip and fall.
There are many different questions that need to be asked and answered about the accident injury claim process after you have been hurt. Each state has an accident injury claim time limit known as the statute of limitations, and your personal car insurance policy, homeowner's policy, or other insurance policy may determine your accident injury coverage.
One of the most important things you can do after being seriously hurt in an accident is to search for "doctors near me." Getting the proper medical care to treat your injuries should be your top priority. In terms of having a legal case to recover compensation and receive justice for your unnecessary accident, however, a diagnosis from a physician is also an important part of documenting your injuries and creating a paper trail to illustrate how the accident has changed your life. This is often the first step in the accident injury claim process to be followed by many different pieces of paperwork, meetings, and consultations with a personal injury lawyer. When you realize that your injuries are severe enough that they have generated substantial medical bills and your doctors have informed you that your conditions are serious enough that you may require additional treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, work accommodations, surgeries, and more, you need to speak to your personal injury lawyer about filing a lawsuit.
Getting Your Bills Paid After an Accident
Most people do not have substantial enough insurance coverage to pay for all of the associated medical bills that have already accumulated as well as those that will accumulate in the future. Your personal injury lawyer will create what is known as a “demand letter,” which is an estimate of all of your injuries and associated damages. This demand letter is then sent to the insurance company, either yours or the person who caused the accident.
In most cases, insurance companies come back with a series of questions, paperwork, and other details that need to be addressed in order for your claim to move forward. This is the second step in the accident injury claim process. After you have completed this step in the process, you will continue to communicate with your insurance company's adjuster.
The claims adjuster learns more about how the accident happened and who may be held liable. They may request additional evidence such as photos, video statements from eyewitnesses, and more. During this time, your personal injury lawyer may also provide additional evidence to the insurance claims adjuster and remain in contact with them.
Many people are shocked to realize how difficult it can be to work with your own insurance company after a serious accident. Even though you have consistently paid premiums as a customer of an insurance company, insurance carriers are primarily interested in protecting their bottom line and will look for any opportunity to delay your claim, deny your claim, or minimize your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer in the accident injury claim process is one way to protect your right to full and fair compensation.
If you and the insurance company are not able to come to terms with a settlement offer, your attorney's next step is to take this to court. You can settle your case outside of court at any point during the preparation for trial and even the trial process itself. You can continue to settle until a decision has been handed down by the court. In many cases, insurance companies don't want to deal with the uncertainty of judges or jury trials and are motivated to push forward settlement offers wherever possible.
Bear in mind that if you do not have legal representation, insurance companies will likely present a lowball settlement offer. This lump sum amount of money may seem tempting in the moment but is unlikely to cover all of your expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, all of which are attributed to the accident caused by another negligent person. Your lawyer can help you to calculate your future medical expenses and other future costs, such as if your family members will be affected by the severity of your injury or if you have been assigned a permanent disability rating.
If you are unable to settle with the insurance company, you will proceed to a full civil trial with hearings, motions, briefs, and other typical aspects of civil litigation. Your attorney should be motivated to do everything possible to resolve your claim outside of court but will also need to prepare a comprehensive strategy for court where necessary. If you receive a successful verdict in court or are able to negotiate a settlement offer, the payment agreed upon or assigned to the other party as part of the lawsuit will be distributed to you minus your attorney fees.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not get paid for their work until the conclusion of the case if and when they are successful in resolving the case. This means that you do not have to pay a retainer or an hourly fee but that your attorney will instead take a percentage, usually between 25% and 33%, of your final award at the conclusion of the case. This should represent the end of the accident claim injury process, but there are many potential pitfalls that can impact you over the duration of your case. It can be overwhelming and stressful to deal with the legal aspects of fighting for justice when you have been seriously injured and are no longer able to work. Contact the experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan who have a nationwide track record of helping victims through the accident injury claim process and ensuring that victims and their loved ones receive full and fair compensation for serious accidents.