Auto accident injury claims are sometimes necessary after a car crash so that you can pay your medical bills and recover the wages you lose as a result of injury. But it’s not always as simple as TV-commercial attorneys sometimes make it sound. Here’s what you need to know about claims that less-than-reputable personal injury lawyers might not tell you:
- Lawsuits Aren’t Your Only Option
In some cases, a lawsuit will cost more than it’s worth. It’s often better to start by drafting a letter with your attorney that informs the liable party of your demands. If the other party agrees or small changes can be made in an arbitration process, you’ll probably pay far less in legal fees than if you jumped straight to a lawsuit.
- Auto Accident Injury Claims Take Time
Filing a claim is an attempt to get the money you’re fairly owed. But unfortunately, it’s not a quick process. Depending on the other driver(s) involved in the accident and the insurance companies in question, your claim may drag on for months or, in some cases, years. This is one compelling reason to hire an attorney — he or she will likely be able to expedite the process — but you should still manage your expectations and make financial provisions in the meantime.
- It Can Be Complicated to Calculate Damages
TV commercials often tell you that you’re entitled to “pain and suffering” damages. But some non-medical damages are difficult to prove through evidence, and it won’t always make sense how monetary damages are calculated.
- Settlements Are Limited by Insurance
Normally, car accident settlements are paid out by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The maximum amount of this settlement is generally limited by the driver’s policy. If your expenses exceed that maximum amount, you would need to go after the driver’s personal assets, and in many cases that simply isn’t the right financial decision (especially if he or she has no assets to speak of).
- Accident Injury Attorneys Can’t Control It All
Sometimes, the success of your claim or the value of your settlement depends on you, and not your attorney. It’s important that you call the police at the scene of your accident, seek medical treatment from MDs (not alternative practitioners), and stay consistent when giving your reports of what happened in the accident.
What else should people know about auto accident injury claims? Add your thoughts in the comments.