Everything You Wanted To Know About a Car Accident Settlement

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, then there is a chance that you might have suffered an injury. Even small car accidents can lead to serious injuries that might place someone in the hospital, in the operating room, or in the office of a physical therapist.

For those who have suffered injuries stemming from a car accident that is not their fault, it is possible to file a car accident injury claim to try to recoup some of these expenses. At the same time, most people do not have a lot of experience with the legal system and might be wondering what happens next. There are a few points that everyone should keep in mind when it comes to a car accident settlement.

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Why Are Car Accident Injury Cases Settled?

First, drivers should note that the vast majority of car accident injury cases are resolved through settlement negotiations between someone who has been injured and the car insurance company. Neither party wants the case to go to trial because this only adds to the legal expenses for both parties in addition to the potential of having the case dragged into the public eye.

Because there is a chance for car accident cases to be settled before trial, it might even be possible to receive a car accident settlement before a lawsuit is even filed. Before this process gets started, drivers need to know how this process tends to play out.

Report the Car Accident First

Before any settlement negotiations can take place, a car accident has to be reported. If the car accident is not reported, then it is like it never even happened. The car accident should be reported to the local police department, the local sheriff, or even state troopers.

Everyone who would like to receive a car accident settlement has to make sure they follow the reporting requirements in Florida to avoid any unnecessary obstacles when it comes to car accident settlement negotiations. If you are involved in a car accident, make sure to call the authorities to make sure that an appropriate report is generated.

Assigning Fault in a Car Accident

Florida requires drivers to carry some form of car insurance in order to drive on the road legally. This prevents drivers from going through the trouble of trying to track down another driver and force them to cover the cost of the accident. A large insurance company is much easier to find.

There are two possibilities when it comes to car accidents and assigning blame. The first is called an at-fault system. Florida follows a traditional fault system. In this situation, the person who is at-fault for the car accident is responsible for the damage. For example, someone might run a red light and strike another driver. Or, someone might be texting and driving when they run into the back of someone.

If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to make sure that blame is assigned appropriately. Once the other driver is at fault, you can:

  • File a claim with your own insurance company to let them know what happened
  • Place a third-party claim with the insurance company of the other driver, which should be listed on the police report
  • File a personal lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle

When the other driver has car insurance (as is probably required by law), it is easier for you to file a claim with the other insurance company. If you file a lawsuit with the other driver, the other driver might decide to file a lawsuit against you, regardless of how baseless his or her claims might be. It is probably better to avoid this stress and contact the insurance company instead.

Settling a Car Accident Injury Claim

Once the accident has been reported and fault is assigned, settlement negotiations can begin. Most car accident claims are settled without going to trial. Remember that if you take your case to trial, you might be awarded more money than in a settlement; however, there is also a chance that you might receive nothing at all. With a settlement, you are guaranteed to get some money to help you cover the cost of medical expenses, potential lost income, and property damage.

First, you need to take the time to collect all of the evidence that supports your claim. Remember that a personal injury claim is not designed to punish the other party but to help you cover the financial costs that you incurred as a result of an accident that was not your fault. Therefore, you need evidence to support these damages. These might include:

  1. Repair bills from your car
  2. Lost wages from work
  3. Receipts and bills from medical expenses
  4. Witness testimony
  5. The police report

Once you have done this, you will draft a demand letter that you can send to the insurance company, stating your claim. The insurance company will then investigate your accident and provide you with an offer. At that point, you can either reject their offer, accept their offer, or make a counteroffer.

Follow the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Victims: Work With a Lawyer

In order to make sure that you place yourself in the best position possible to recover a fair settlement, you need to file a claim within the statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident in question.

For this reason, everyone who is involved in a car accident in the state of Florida should work with a trained Florida Car Accident Attorney to make sure their rights are protected. The potential size of a personal injury claim will vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the severity of the accident, and the experience of the lawyer.

By working with a trained personal injury attorney like we offer at Vasilaros Wagner, drivers can focus on their medical recovery, allowing our attorneys to protect their rights and make sure their car accident settlement is fair and just.

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