The process of settling a car accident claim can seem confusing the first time around. Knowing what stages to expect and how long they might take will help you cope with the process. Here is what you will need in order to settle your car accident claim.
A Car Accident Attorney
While a car accident attorney is technically optional, it is highly advisable to get one if you have an injury. First of all, the car accident settlement process can take six months to a year (or much more), and you will want to have a professional opinion at hand to help you in times of doubt. Another reason is the financial aspect; if you have medical bills, an attorney can set you up with a medical lien so that those costs aren't paid out of pocket. Instead, they will be paid at the end of the settlement. Finally, you'll want an attorney to get the most value out of your claim. Just knowing that you have an attorney representing you will give the insurance company less incentive to try and lowball you on a settlement offer.
An Admission of Fault
To know how your claim is going to go, you will want to secure an admission of fault from the other party's insurance company. This stage can take a lot longer than expected, even in cases where there is clear fault. Until then, you'll be without a vehicle unless you have your own collision insurance.
As soon as you have an admission of guilt from the other party, it is time to start gathering documents for your expenses. Get all of the medical treatment you need to return your health to as close to it was before the accident as possible. With some injuries, such as herniated neck disks, the damage can unfortunately be permanent. It is still necessary to do as much as you can to improve your situation. Keep records of time missed from work, medical expenses, your levels of pain and discomfort, and the other various ways the accident affected your life.
It may seem like the recovery phase can drag on for a long time. But your final responsibility is to provide a thorough and honest deposition that tells what happened to you. Your car accident attorney is going to ask a lot of questions to find out what happened and how it affected your life. Parts of this statement will go into the demand letter that will determine your settlement. From there, let your lawyer duke it out with the insurance company to get the best offer possible.
Check out websites like http://www.clearfieldinjurylawyer.com/ for more information.