Being injured in a car accident can be scary not only because of the accident itself, but because of all the logistical headaches and financial concerns that come along with the situation. But you should know that there is a legal framework that is designed to help you through this process. Of course, you’ll want to work with experienced injury attorneys to go over the details of your case and determine the best course of action. But here are the answers to some common questions to get you started:
- What If I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
You shouldn’t stop pursuing reimbursement for your medical expenses simply because you share fault for an accident. There are a few places where this might disqualify you from receiving compensation (these areas use a system called “contributory negligence” when assessing cases), but in most places you can receive a scaled settlement based on the percentage of fault assigned to you (a system called “comparative negligence”).
- Is a Lawsuit the Only Way to Get Car Accident Compensation?
It’s important to distinguish between auto accident injury claims and personal injury lawsuits. Both are used to get compensation that can cover medical expenses. A claim is generally the first route you’d want to take, and involves you negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company for a settlement. If those negotiations break down, then that’s the time to consider filing a lawsuit.
- How Likely Is It That I’ll Have to Go to Trial?
Even if you do file a lawsuit, it’s unlikely your case will actually end up going to trial. Litigation is expensive for insurance companies, and they’d generally prefer to settle. However, in some cases it might be to your advantage to reject mediocre settlement offers and see the case through to the very end. This is one reason why it’s so important to work with experienced injury attorneys who can guide you on when to fight and when to settle.
- What Are Car Accident Settlements Based On?
One of the hardest things about going through the personal injury process is figuring out how a dollar amount is assigned to your injury. Insurance companies will generally use a set system that factors in fault for the accident, the severity of the injuries, any lost wages during your recovery and similar elements.
- At What Point Should I Consult With Auto Accident Injury Attorneys?
Many people assume that it’s unnecessary to consult with an attorney until negotiations with the insurance company have broken down. But it’s often helpful to bring an attorney in sooner, as he or she can assess whether you’re being offered a fair settlement and expedite the claims process. If you can get the compensation you need prior to filing a lawsuit, that’s generally better for everyone, and that’s far more likely to happen if you hire an attorney early on.
Have you been hurt in a car accident? What other questions would you like to ask experienced injury attorneys? Join the discussion in the comments.