Car crashes that result in personal injury must be handled very delicately. There are dozens of forms that must be filed, written statements and verbal statements that must be considered before you can even begin to think about getting paid. Understanding the process before it begins is very important to getting the payout you want. Find out what you can expect from this process.
File a Personal Injury Claim
Before you can even begin the process of getting your personal injury claim, you must file the paperwork to begin the process. You have a specific amount of time to file this paperwork, so make sure you abide by the laws in your state. You also need to double check the dollar amount you can claim through your policy in your state before filing. If you’re trying to file a $250,000 claim but your limit is $100,000, you won’t get paid. It’s better to find out all the restrictions before filing your claim; you don’t want any surprises later on.
Record a Statement with the Adjuster
After your paperwork has been received by your insurance company, your insurance adjuster will give you a call. Even though you may have already given your written statement, your adjuster still needs your verbal statement. He or she may ask you to repeat what happened to the best of your ability. You’ll need, to tell the truth, and be precise. Make sure you remember everything exactly as it happened because this testimony may determine your settlement. Your adjuster might also ask you specific questions regarding your accident too. Just answer these as clearly as you can.
Support Documentation and Proof
You’ll need to prove your injuries, so make sure you have plenty of documentation and proof of your medical situation. You should save as much documentation as you can from the hardship that has resulted from your accident. Save your medical records and any expense you incurred as the result of your medical expenses. These could include parking tickets, gas mileage, reports of missed work and housekeeper bills from the result of your injuries. If you are self-employed you might need to show your previous year’s tax returns to prove the amount of work you’ve missed because of your accident.
Hand Over Your Medical Records
You’ll also need to sign over your medical records to the insurance adjuster. Make sure to read the paperwork before signing anything; adjusters can request information that isn’t even relevant to your current case. Some adjusters might request previous medical records that have nothing to do with your current case. They might search these medical records for information that could be detrimental to your case. Adjusters might look for previous medical conditions that could be linked to your current medical situations. They could also use these records to search for mental illness, drug addiction or any issue they think could work against you in a court case.
Seek Advice Before Signing
Before signing any paperwork, it’s not a bad idea to seek legal advice. Some of the forms that you’ll need to sign are very delicately worded. You’ll need to know what type of forms you should sign and which forms you should contest. You’ll also need to know how much time you have to file this paperwork. If any of the forms are not filled out properly or are not filed by the due dates, your case could be negatively affected. If you need further legal advice, you might feel more confident with a lawyer with whom you already have a professional relationship.
File a Lawsuit
If you did not receive the payout you felt was fair, you might be able to file a lawsuit. Depending on the state where you live, you could file a suit against the other driver for fees their insurance might not cover. Contact a lawyer to decide if a lawsuit is worth pursuing.
The final step is to hopefully receive your settlement. If everything goes well, you should receive a check from the insurance agency and possibly the other driver if you’ve filed a lawsuit. The process of receiving your accident settlement can be long and arduous. Yet with a little help, the process shouldn’t be so painful.