A car accident might be a traumatic experience for the involved parties, but it can be challenging if you do not have the money to pay for damages that were done. Car accidents often result in serious, life-altering injuries. These can include temporary or permanent disabilities, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and more. A settlement is compensation for these types of injuries. Below are steps to take to receive a car accident settlement.
Get medical attention for your injuries immediately after a car accident. You do not want to be caught in a position of waiting to go right away because it could make your case harder down the road if you are injured and need treatment by a doctor.
Contact police officers
You should immediately contact police officers after a car accident, no matter how minor it is, even if there are no other cars or drivers involved, which must be cited in the accident report. If the other driver disappeared, get their name, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number before they leave. Try to write down some notes about what happened while everything is still fresh in your mind. However, don’t let this process rush you too much, since you should always prioritize getting immediate medical attention.
Contact your insurance firm
Ensure you immediately contact your insurance firm to report the car accident, but do not tell them at first that you are planning on filing a claim for damages because of your injuries after the car accident if you think the other party has no coverage or not enough to make it worthwhile pursuing legal action against them. It is usually advantageous for both parties if they can work out an agreement on their own rather than going through lawyers. That will cost more money and takes longer, but having their insurance company’s knowledge of your claims could give them extra motivation to handle matters quickly and fairly with you.
The strength of your case depends mainly on the evidence that shows the other driver’s negligence caused your crash. Before you can say with certainty what the other driver did wrong, you need to gather evidence. For instance, when it comes to the California car accident settlement process, evidence gathering will include taking photos of your vehicle damage and the accident scene, getting witness statements, and preserving any physical evidence that may have resulted from the accident.
Hire a car accident attorney
If necessary, hire a car accident lawyer who specializes in this type of injury case. An experienced attorney can help determine whether you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, missed workdays, future medical costs, or another aspect of your injuries. They will also be able to advise you on the best way to negotiate with insurance companies for an out-of-court settlement rather than go through litigation.
Negotiate an out of court settlement
Negotiate a settlement agreement for damages after your car accident on your own, if possible, without consulting an attorney first. That is because the other party is more likely to cooperate with you than an attorney would be willing to do since legal fees are steep and, wants to reduce their bills as much as possible. Going through insurance companies causes them to act in uncooperative ways sometimes because most of them have stringent rules about what must be done before they will agree to pay out any compensation at all. During negotiations, your attorney can advise you on what to expect and protect your interests best.
Prepare for trial
Going to court is usually not necessary or recommended unless you cannot agree with the other driver’s insurance carrier. If this is the case, you must be prepared for trial, so you can show the judge or jury why you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Accept the settlement offer
If your case goes to trial, do whatever it takes to convince a judge or jury that you’ve suffered due to someone else’s negligence by showing them physical evidence, witness testimony, and more. If you’re successful, the jury will award you a settlement. Once this happens, the money is distributed according to the verdict of the court.
Appeal if necessary
If you go to trial and don’t get the results you want, your case may still not be settled. In rare cases, it’s possible to appeal, so there is another opportunity to fight for what you deserve.