People who have been hurt in a car accident for the first time or have never dealt with auto insurance companies before might be under the impression that filing a compensation claim will be easy and they will receive reimbursement for their damages in no time. While that is definitely an optimistic thought, it does not hold much value in real life. In an ideal world, legal matters would be straightforward and simplistic, if they actually existed. Truth is that personal injury cases are complicated unless the defendant turns out to be an increasingly self-righteous, rich, and generous person. As far as car accidents are concerned, no two cases are identical.
How long you will have to wait to receive a payout from the perpetrator’s insurer depends on various factors. Common car accident cases almost never go to trial, but it is a possibility under unusual circumstances, especially if a wrongful death was among the consequences. Whatever the case, doing your homework beforehand will prepare you to face the challenges. Acquiring legal assistance obviously helps and is absolutely a must if you have no clue how this works. Personal Injury Attorney Fort Lauderdale, FL, provides some valuable information regarding car accident injury claims.
Compensation is not Guaranteed
Whether you consider yourself ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ of the car accident, you can’t be sure how the case unravels. Even though you might be sure that you were completely innocent in the matter, law enforcement may have an entirely different point of view. In most cases, neither party is completely free of fault, although one of the two drivers can be blamed for the most part. The law that applies to personal injury cases varies from state to state, so you should get acquainted with the legislation applicable in your county or district.
If you and your opponent turn out to be equally responsible for the crash, you may end up with no compensation money at all. Do not rule out the prospect of receiving a contradictory verdict either. Evidence and testimony might suggest that you have a greater burden of fault, so you could be the one paying for the other driver’s damages. People who get into negotiating their claims without a legal representative are often destined to fail. First-timers may not know of their rights and limitations, thereby ruining any chances of gaining something from the claim. Sometimes, the other driver in question does not possess any auto insurance, which puts the claimant in a tight spot.
Insurance Agents are Fiends, not Friends
Lucky you if the defendant’s insurer was nice to you, but do not fall for the sweet talk. Insurance agents may pose as your friends, simply to get unnecessary information out of you and then use it to manipulate and exploit your case later on. While all insurance companies boast of having your back and being there for you in bad times, they always have an ulterior motive. Their only agenda is to avert a payout or at least reduce it as much as possible.
They will try hard to convince you that your claim is irrelevant or worth a lot less than what you think. Many claimants believe in their lies and settle for compensation that barely covers half of their expenses. Insurance companies will ignore your pleas, protests and complaints unless you have an experienced car accident attorney by your side.
Gathering Evidence is the Key
Following an auto accident, traffic police officers arrive on the scene and investigate. They will create a report that reflects their judgment of the incident, which is usually correct. Nonetheless, relying on the police report alone can work against your interests. If your condition allows, you must strive to gather proof against the other driver. In case you were severely injured and rushed to the hospital, your medical reports will become your primary evidence.
Photos or videos of the accident scene can be extremely valuable for your claim. In addition, you must retrieve the contact information of witnesses who would be willing to provide testimony in your favor. Acquiring footage of surveillance cameras in the area can also prove very helpful in determining fault.
Patience is all it takes
Patience is a scarce concept in modern times. We want results in seconds and waiting a few minutes feels like hours. Car accident claimants are naturally hoping that their payment will be made soon after the claim is filed, which is simply naïve. Typically, the proceedings of car accident cases are directly proportional to the extent of incurred injuries. Accidents that involve substantial damage to life and property will take longer to sort out. In fact, trying to rush things may go against your interests.
You need to focus on your medical treatment and its documentation at the initial stages. Your medical records play a key role in validating your compensation rights and deciding a reasonable amount of compensating your losses. An injury that seems minor to begin with might turn out to be more serious and leave you with bigger hospital bills. Your lawyer can help you estimate the value of your case accurately when you are on the road to recovery.
Insurance companies will delay your claim by responding late and making excuses. The only thing you can do to make them cooperate is to bring in a legal representative.
You can always afford a Lawyer
It is a common misconception that hiring a personal injury lawyer is very expensive and that the total cost of their services will surpass the amount rewarded as compensation. Worry not, as most personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis, i.e. they do not charge a dime upfront. If you win the case, they will take a small portion of your compensation payout at the end; if you lose then they don’t get anything.