Auto accidents which result in injuries trigger auto injury cases. Once initial investigations have been done, i.e. the police have visited the accident scene, pictures of the accident scene have been taken, witness accounts have been recorded, and a victim has received initial medical treatment, a claim should be filed with the insurance company in question.
Filling a claim
You should notify your auto insurance company immediately in the event of a car accident. Your insurer should be in a position to pay for total losses incurred from the crash provided you have the right coverage. Your insurer should then proceed and seek reimbursement from the other insurance company (of the at-fault driver). In most cases, the insurer of the at-fault driver will contact you to get a statement. Don’t give a verbal/written statement or sign anything without talking to an auto injury lawyer first.
Initial consultation with an auto accident lawyer
You should hire an auto accident attorney before you file a personal injury claim. Initial consultations are usually free and enlightening if you find the best auto injury attorney in your area. Auto injury attorneys can help you deal with calls from insurance adjusters, conducting investigations, fighting low settlement offers by your insurer among other hurdles/processes.
Liability & medical investigation
If you hire an auto injury attorney to handle your personal injury case, you can rest as they will conduct further investigations, follow up on your medical treatment and submit that information to your insurer. In case your treatment is expected to continue in the long-term, auto injury attorneys contact medical practitioners and get reports to be submitted alongside treatment records. This step is important in ensuring auto accident victims get fair compensation from insurers.
Once a victim’s medical condition is stabilized, a demand for settlement is submitted to the insurer by a lawyer on behalf of their client. Insurance companies make an offer followed by back and forth negotiations between a victim, their lawyer and the insurance company representative (insurance adjuster).
Case settlement or filing a lawsuit
A victim can decide to settle the case by accepting the final offer from the insurer. Auto injury lawyers are the best placed professional for advising victims of auto accidents whether or not they should accept final offers from their insurers. Since auto insurance companies are known to give low offers, it’s not advisable to settle in most cases if you are not advised by an experienced auto accident attorney to do so.
If an auto accident results in a lawsuit, the case enters a discovery period characterized by more investigations, interrogations, document requests and depositions in some cases. Depositions give lawyers a chance to collect more information from witnesses, police officers, doctors among other parties in the accident or case.
The court usually orders mediation after the discovery state. This dispute resolution step involves a mediator facilitating discussions between all parties with the aim of promoting voluntary settlement. Many cases are settled at this stage.
If mediation doesn’t work, the auto injury case moves to trial. During this stage, the injured person must prove the other driver was at fault (was negligent). The importance of hiring the best auto accident lawyer you can find can’t be overlooked at this point. An experienced auto accident attorney should be able to show you weren’t at fault or were not at fault more than the other driver which will result in a fair compensation.