What To Expect After a Car Accident

A man sitting on road worried after a car accident in New London, CT

A car accident is a jarring and traumatic experience, especially if you sustain severe injuries in the crash. Between your physical injuries, the cost of medical treatment, and the intense emotions that come with a major collision, you have a lot to worry about. The stress of figuring out what comes next and how to recover the money you need is a significant challenge at a time like this.

Fortunately, an experienced car accident attorney can help you through this difficult time. Your lawyer can explain what to expect after a collision and guide you through filing a personal injury claim.

While you heal, they can handle all the legal work and protect your rights. This blog explains what you can expect after a car accident and the steps you can take to maximize your compensation from a personal injury claim.

The Timeline of a Car Accident Claim

Car accident claims typically follow a specific process, and knowing what comes next can help you prepare accordingly.

Here’s what should happen after a car accident:

  • Continue Your Medical Treatment: Follow your prescribed treatment plan and document everything. This includes all your doctor visits, the treatments you receive, and how the injuries affect your daily life.
  • Consult a Car Accident Lawyer: Seek advice from a lawyer who has experience with car accident claims. They can review your case, advise you on your legal options, and guide you on how to proceed.
  • Gather and Organize Evidence: Your lawyer can handle collecting evidence related to the accident. This often involves getting a copy of the police report, taking photographs of the accident scene, gathering witness statements, and collecting any medical records related to your injuries.
  • Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: After collecting the available evidence, you and your lawyer will inform your insurance company about the accident. Your attorney can provide them with the basic details of what happened. Your lawyer can also prepare you on what to say to the insurance companies without admitting fault.
  • File an Insurance Claim: Your lawyer will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This involves submitting all your gathered evidence and documentation to support your claim.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Your lawyer will handle negotiations with the insurance company. They want to get you a fair settlement that covers all your expenses and compensates you for your injuries.
  • Consider Settlement Offers: Next, it’s time to review any settlement offers with your lawyer. They can explain whether the offer is fair and covers all your needs or if they should negotiate for more money for you.
  • Decision on Settlement or Trial: Now, you must decide whether to accept a settlement offer or take your case to trial. You’ll make that decision based on your lawyer’s advice and your personal circumstances.
  • Resolution of the Claim: If you accept a settlement, the case concludes with the compensation payment. If you and the insurance company can’t agree, your lawyer will prepare your case for court proceedings.

How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Take?

The time it takes to recover compensation after a car accident depends on many factors. If you have sustained severe injuries and ask for a large amount in your claim, the other driver and their insurance company will scrutinize your case more carefully, which can lengthen proceedings.

The available evidence is another significant factor, as it’s easier to make your case if you have strong proof to support your claim.

Disputes over liability can also lengthen the duration of a car accident claim. If multiple parties share blame for the crash, you must file a claim against each party to recover full compensation, which takes extra time. You might also have to sit through several rounds of negotiations over a potential settlement, which can make a claim take longer.

A women signing car accident claim papers given to her by a insurance representative.

Finally, taking a car accident claim to court will prolong proceedings. Trials involve complicated procedures and multiple hearings, and the trial may take several months or longer to conclude.

No matter how long your case takes, you must remain patient. The insurance companies know you are in a tough spot and expect you to succumb to the financial pressure and accept a quick settlement.

But resisting that pressure and letting your lawyer do their job gives you a stronger chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.

How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

The value of a car accident claim depends on your injuries and other factors. A lawyer will need to evaluate your claim before they can assess how much compensation you could recover.

Depending on your circumstances, you could recover compensation for the following losses from the crash:

  • Medical expenses, including the cost of future treatments you need
  • Lost income, along with any reduction in your future earning potential due to an injury or disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress (anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, PTSD, etc)
  • Diminished quality of life due to your injuries or a disability
  • The value of any personal property damaged in the crash

When You Get Your Money From a Car Accident Claim

personal injury lawyer Humbert Polito
Humbert J. Polito, Car Accident Lawyer

Once you and the insurance company reach a settlement or a court awards you compensation, several steps must happen before you receive your money.

First, in the case of a settlement, the lawyers will draft a settlement agreement. You and your lawyer will review the document, and you’ll sign it. This step can take a few weeks, as the insurance company has to go through its internal procedures.

Then, the insurance company will process your payment. When the insurance company issues the check, they typically send it to your lawyer’s office. Your lawyer then deposits the check into a trust or escrow account.

Before you receive your compensation, your New London personal injury lawyer will settle any outstanding balances related to your case. This includes legal fees, expenses incurred during the legal process, and any medical liens or outstanding bills you have. After these deductions, your lawyer will issue you a check for the remaining amount.

The entire process, from signing a settlement agreement to receiving your money, often takes several weeks or a couple of months. Stay in contact with your lawyer during this period to make sure you understand the timeline and any actions you need to take.

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