Depending on the severity of a car accident, filing and claiming for compensation can be quite challenging, especially if you don’t understand the legal nuances. It is best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer Utah to maximize your chances for fair compensation in a hassle-free way.
The good news is that claim settlements between the injured person and the insurance provider are the most common way to resolve most accidents. Only the complicated ones reach the trial stage.
If you were fortunate enough to survive a car accident, or know someone who did, here’s a round-up of how the claim settlements work and how long does it take. Happy reading.
Understanding Automobile Insurance Laws
In every state barring New Hampshire and Virginia, all drivers must have valid car insurance. There are two types of liability systems, and the settlement process depends on the type.
- At-fault – It is the traditional coverage system that most states follow. According to this system, the person who is at fault covers the damages. The first step in this system is to prove liability or negligence.
Steps to follow:
- File a police report and use a copy to file a claim with your insurance provider
- Next, file a third-party insurance claim with the insurance company of the liable party, or
- File a lawsuit against the driver.
Note: If you decide to file a lawsuit, always do it after consulting with your lawyer because it might lead to a situation where the other party counter-sues you.
- No-Fault – If your state falls under this category, you can claim for medical expenses, lost salary due to the accident, etc., from the insurance company without proving who is at fault. Under this system, you cannot file a lawsuit against the driver (and he cannot file one against you). The compensation is based on actuals and up to the policy limit.
How does Claim Settlement Work?
As a name suggests, it resolves any disputes over the accident amongst the parties involved and their respective insurance companies without involving the court. If you have the right legal representation and build your case strongly, the compensation amount covers all medical expenses and other damages due to pain, loss of a loved one, etc.
- Collect High-Value Evidence to prove negligence
- Present all bills and receipts to prove the extent of damages
- Draft and submit a demand letter mentioning your claim amount along with all the evidence.
- The insurance company starts investigating your claim puts the first offer.
- You can either accept it, make a counter-offer or sue the party.
Statutes of Limitation on filing a claim
The time frame within which you must apply for a claim settlement is different for different states. However, it is best to do it as soon as you recover from the injuries.
Car accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, even without their fault. Recovering from the injuries and the trauma is a battle in itself. To add to this comes the worry of filing for injury compensation. Hire the best personal injury attorney to help you work around the legal complications.