Car accident settlements can be a complex process, especially if you are injured and someone else was responsible for the accident. There are many different factors that need to be considered in order to determine how much money you may be owed. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
How Does the Car Accident Settlement Process Work?
When the other driver is at fault for the accident, their insurance company will be responsible for covering the damages. The types of damages you can claim a settlement for include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Although the at-fault driver is responsible, their insurance company will likely be the one to actually pay out the settlement. The insurance company will have their own adjusters and lawyers who will evaluate the claim and negotiate a settlement amount.
It’s important to note that you are not required to accept the first settlement offer that the insurance company makes. In fact, it’s usually in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer review any offers before you accept them. The insurance company may try to lowball you, but a lawyer will be able to negotiate for a higher amount that more accurately reflects the damages you’ve incurred.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may still be able to recover compensation through your own insurance policy. This is typically done through something called uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to most auto insurance policies, but it’s something that you should seriously consider purchasing. If you do have this coverage and the other driver is at fault, your insurance company will step in and cover the damages up to the limits of your policy.
What if I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
In some cases, both drivers may be found to be at fault for the accident. This is typically determined by looking at who was more careless or reckless leading up to the collision. For example, if one driver ran a red light and the other driver was speeding, they would both likely be found at fault.
If you are partially at fault for the accident, it doesn’t mean that you can’t recover any compensation. It may just mean that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage that you are found at fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found to be 20% at fault, your final settlement would be $80,000.
How Long Does the Settlement Process Take?
There is no definite answer to this question as every case is different. The settlement process can take months or even years in some cases. If both sides are able to come to an agreement relatively quickly, it’s possible to have the case settled within a few months. However, if there is a lot of back-and-forth negotiation or the case goes to trial, it could take much longer.
The best way to avoid a long and drawn-out settlement process is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Don’t wait to get started on your case, contact a personal injury lawyer today.