The aftermath of a traffic collision can be quite frightening and stressful, but understanding how car accident settlements work can help.
There are steps you can take to help your accident settlement work out in your favor. Continue reading to learn more about these steps so that you will have a better chance of acquiring a satisfactory settlement.
The Scene of an Accident
If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, the work begins even before the dust settles at the scene. If possible, you should do the following:
- Take pictures of the vehicle damage, locations of the vehicles, or any other pieces of related evidence that could be helpful when dealing with insurance carriers.
- If possible, snap a few pictures of the other driver’s vehicle damage as well, including their license plate.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses present.
- File a statement with the police on the scene.
- Notify your insurance company as timely as possible.
- If you visit a doctor at any point, obtain detailed documentation from all visits.
The Settlement Process
After an accident, do not try to handle the claims process yourself. Instead, we recommend retaining an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights will be protected.
Car Accident Investigation
Once you have filed a personal injury claim, an insurance claims adjuster will investigate the accident. This investigation involves a review of every piece of evidence to make your claim as strong and valid as possible. These pieces of evidence may include:
- The police report
- Photographs from the scene
- Witness statements
- Your medical records
- Driver testimonies
Next, the adjuster will speak with experts who can provide critical insight into your accident and subsequent damages. This may include your doctor, the police officer on site, an accident reconstruction specialist, or a civil engineer.
Reviewing Insurance Policies
Both your insurance policy and the policy of the negligent driver will be reviewed to determine who is financially responsible for covering the damages. If the other driver’s insurance fails to cover all of your damages, you may be required to go through your provider to make up the difference.
Seeking a Car Accident Settlement Pre-Lawsuit
Attorneys aim to settle accident claims without a lawsuit. If your attorney determines that the settlement offer is sufficient to cover your damages, they will likely advise you to accept the offer. You should never accept a settlement without consulting with your attorney first.
What Happens If You Cannot Reach an Agreeable Settlement?
If the insurance adjuster’s settlement is not satisfactory, you have options other than accepting the insufficient offer. If applicable, you can provide the adjuster with more documentation of the damages. This might include witness statements, photographs, surveillance camera footage, or anything else that was missing from your initial claim.
If this does not result in a reasonable settlement offer, you have the right to file a lawsuit. A study by The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that as few as 3 percent of personal injury cases go to trial. It is much more likely that you will be able to settle before taking it to court.
Get Help Today with Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
If you are looking for the easiest way to embark on a car accident settlement, choose Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. Our team has over 25 years of experience assisting Utah citizens to recover financially after a car accident occurs.
We have offices in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Give us a call today to get in touch with a car accident lawyer that will be by your side every step of the way.