Q: I Was Injured In A Car Accident – How Do I File A Claim?
Below is a step by step process explaining how to file a car accident claim. This information is assuming that you can prove fault lies with the other party, as with many rear end car accident settlements. As is the case with all car accident lawsuits, this can be done with an attorney or without, however it is recommended that you at least speak with a local car accident attorney prior to trying to settle your claim yourself. All the attorneys in our network are local and offer free initial consultations. If you decide to retain an attorney for your car accident claim, there are typically no up front fees, rather they are paid as a percentage of your settlement if and when your case is settled.
Generally speaking, here are the steps to settling a car accident claim:
1. Write and submit a demand letter, along with all documentation – This is the most crucial part of your negotiation. Before drafting your demand letter, make sure you have all your documentation in order – this can include pictures of the accident and/or injuries, witness statements, medical bills, ongoing medical treatment instructions, and proof of lost wages. When writing your demand letter, document all of this information including dollar amounts, then add pain & suffering and make your monetary demand.
2. Wait for the insurance company’s offer and negotiate as needed: It is rare than an insurance company will accept your initial demand amount, rather they will counter offer. You should keep this in mind when making your initial demand. When you get a response with a lower amount than requested, you can then counter offer as you see fit. Usually this will take some back and forth until both parties arrive at an agreeable number.
3. Agree on a final settlement amount and sign a release form: Before an insurance company will release a check, they will want a release form assuring them that you won’t be pursuing any further monetary damages in this case. If the settlement number is agreeable, this is standard policy.
4. Cash your settlement check when it arrives.
Benefits Of Working With A Car Accident Lawyer:
This process can be done with our without the help of an attorney, however we always recommend that you discuss your options with a local attorney – all the lawyers in our network offer a free initial consultation. The benefit of working with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with car accident cases, is that they have negotiated settlements and know how to talk to insurance companies, who are trained and compensated to pay you as little as possible. A good attorney can argue for more money for loss of income, ongoing medical treatments, and maximize the amount of compensation you get for your pain and suffering. If they decide to take your case, it is usually done on contingency, meaning that they don’t charge any money up front, will pay any case fees or experts associated with your claim, and are compensated as a percentage of your settlement.
For more information on how to file a car accident claim or a free settlement valuation, fill out the form to the upper right side of this page or call us 24/7 at 877-810-4067.