If you’ve never been involved in an auto accident before, the claim and settlement process can be overwhelming. In this article, we provide insights about how an auto accident settlement works and the options available to you.
Things to Know about Auto Accident Settlement
The first things to do after you’ve been involved in an accident is seek medical attention for injuries you’ve sustained and contact the police. Then you will begin gathering information about your claim to pursue compensation for damages from the other party’s insurance company. In response, the insurance company will conduct an investigation of the accident and review your evidence.
It is a wise idea to avoid settling your claim until you recover from your injuries so that you receive full reimbursement of what you are owed. Experts, such as your doctor, an accident reconstruction specialist, or an engineer, may be used to support your claim. But keep in mind that every state has a statue of limitations, which means you must file a claim by a specified date.
The Auto Accident Settlement Process
Most auto accident cases are settled out of court without going to trial. Although settling is less expensive and stressful for the parties involved, it is not always possible.
To begin settlement negotiations, you or your attorney will send a demand package to the opposing insurance company that includes all the documents that support your claim for compensation. Insurance claim adjusters will evaluate your demand package and respond. Unfortunately, a defendant’s insurance company does not have your best interests at heart, and adjustors will often try to defeat or minimize your claim so they can pay out as little as possible.
Work with an Attorney
To determine the value of your auto accident claim, it’s important to work with an attorney that has negotiating experience and understands the local laws. For example, the settlement process is different if you live in a no-fault state. In these states, no-fault auto coverage replaces injury liability claims in small accidents with direct payment by the injured person’s insurer for medical bills and lost wages.
One crucial part of the settlement process is agreeing on a fair amount of compensation, and this is often determined using the Colossus software program (used by many large insurance companies), the multiple of specials method (medical bills + lost income + pain and suffering), and the per diem method (pain and suffering per day or week).
Options for a Personal Injury Structured Settlement
Like many other types of personal injury cases, an auto accident case can be resolved with a structured settlement or a lump sum payment. For any kind of personal injury structured settlement you receive, you may have the option of selling future payments for lump sum cash if your financial needs change. Contact Novation’s settlement experts at 1-888-979-3740 to get the money you need now from your auto accident settlement.
*Novation is not a financial advisor or consultant and strongly recommends that you speak to a lawyer or accountant before making any significant financial decisions.