Car Accident Settlement: How to Prepare and What to Expect

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Have you filed a case for compensation after a car accident? Here are all the things you should expect from your settlement.

When you have a car accident, it is a mistake to think that you can go into settlements yourself. You should always retain a lawyer for these occurrences. Car accident claims are a lengthy and complex process, so unless you are a lawyer yourself, it is best to hire professional help. With this in mind, you should find that your case goes smoothly, and the settlement process begins without too much work. Otherwise, you will take a lot of evidence gathering, witness collating, and paperwork filing before you get to the settlement process.

This article will outline what that process is and what your involvement in it should be. Car accident settlement situations always take a similar approach, so you can learn what to prepare for from past incidents like yours. Lawyers always do this; it is where the phrase “setting a precedent” comes from.

What is the Car Accident Claim Process?

When you file a car accident claim, you need to hire an attorney to handle your paperwork. You can legally represent yourself, called “pro se” representation, but unless you have experience in car accident claims, you should hire help.

Once you have been in a car accident, you can file a compensation claim to recover your losses. This type of compensation could cover medical expenses and loss of earnings and put a price on your pain and suffering. To complete your claim, your lawyer will need witness statements, evidence of the accident and who was to blame, and other details. Keep medical records and receipts so the judge can hear both sides of the story. Once you submit your statement, the other parties will too. After this, the judge decides who is at fault, allowing the injured party to claim compensation from the one to blame.

Once all of this has occurred, you go into the settlement process. During this part of the case, your lawyer debates with the opposition’s lawyers to arrive at a mutually agreeable payoff price or settlement. This needs to be enough to cover your costs and your lawyer’s costs. Several factors affect how much you can expect from a car accident settlement. Let us review them.

What to Expect in the Car Accident Claim Process?

If you do not hire a lawyer, you can expect to lose much of your payout. The opposition will have a team of lawyers working on their behalf. Other influencing factors might include:

  • Lack of witnesses – cases with eyewitnesses are harder to deny
  • Lack of evidence – a clear paper trail like police and hospital reports will help
  • Bad bookkeeping – if you do not keep your receipts, you cannot prove the expense. Keep travel passes, too.
  • Do not accept the first offer; it may be a lowball.
  • Poor record keeping – if you do not keep good records of when you attended appointments, you may struggle to prove that you were attending certain services.

If you can keep all the above in mind, you should have a strong claim for car accident compensation.

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