The accident compensation claim is an action that can be taken by any victim of injury or loss to the suitable court of law against the person who caused them harm. This course of action is known as a civil action because it deals with civil wrongs. The goal for this case is to have some form of justice served, so if you want to win, here are some tips.
1. Get a Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer is a legal representative that deals with compensation claims related to traffic accidents. The more specific the definition of ‘traffic’, the better off you’ll be. It’s unlikely that you’ll need a separate lawyer for too many kinds of cases, but it’s possible. For more general situations, you can hire lawyers who specialize in civil cases or personal injury cases. When choosing your attorney, make sure he or she has experience in negotiating these sorts of cases to increase your chances of winning. One car accident lawyer from Henderson explains that if you want to win, you need the right man for the job. You should also check how many years of experience he or she has, as well as the number of cases won. It’s crucial that they have a good track record, so you know they can be trusted to give you sound legal advice. You should also see if they are registered with an agency like The Law Society who keep up-to-date records on lawyers, their fees and where they practice.
2. Gather Evidence Against the Defendant
Gathering evidence against the defendant can be done in a number of ways. Get as much information about the accident as you can, including where it happened, who was involved, what you remember about the event and any details that may have been mentioned to you by the defendant or witnesses. Take pictures of your car before it is repaired because this will help with assessing any damage later on. If possible, take photos of any damage caused to property close to the scene of your accident too, like street signs or traffic lights. As well as gathering evidence against the defendant, make sure you have some other evidence on your side to help support your claim. If you were injured from the accident, get a report from the doctor who treated you immediately after the event and keep any receipts for medicine or treatments that were required because these can also be used to back up a compensation claim.
3. Make Sure you are in the Right State to Claim
If you are making the claim yourself, then you’ll have to factor in that you will not be able to claim anything if you are within 3 years of being involved in an accident. If you are making a claim for loss through your car insurance policy, then this does not apply. It’s important that you assess whether it is beneficial for you at this time to make the claim because there are associated costs with doing so. For example, hiring an attorney can be expensive both upfront and on a contingency basis because they take up to 33% of the total amount awarded as their fee. There is also the chance that they won’t win any money for you at all because even though they may know how much to ask for, winning your case depends on a lot of different things. You should also consider the number of years you have been with your insurance company because most companies offer motorists a two-year no claims discount, so after this time has passed, they will be more likely to side with the defendant in the case that you lose.
4. Negotiating a Settlement
When you first start the process of filing a claim, the defendant’s insurance company will contact you to see if they can offer a settlement. The amount offered, which is usually lower than what you expect, will depend on the information that has been given to them by their client and any other evidence that may have been collected. It’s important not to make the first offer because this puts you at a financial advantage should you choose to accept it. You should also refrain from revealing how much money you are looking to receive as a settlement because this could lead to a poor offer being made and ultimately cause negotiations to fail altogether. In most cases, jurors are asked by both sides of the case whether they’re interested in taking on the role of foreperson. If you receive a jury summons, you should make sure that you turn up to court because if not, it could be seen as an attempt to avoid making your claim and can lead to a pre-trial settlement offer being made by the defendant’s insurance company without you having the chance to give your side of what happened.
5. Getting Paid
Once the insurance company has agreed to pay you compensation, you’ll need to make sure that you have the correct details of where to send any payments. You should also inform your own insurance company so that they can take the necessary steps to put back in place whatever you were previously entitled to, like roadside recovery or legal cover. After you’ve made your claim and agreed to a settlement offer, you’ll be paid within 14 days, but it’s important that you don’t spend this money until court proceedings are finished because there is always the chance that an appeal will succeed and reduce the amount awarded for compensation. It could be argued if no financial settlement was reached during negotiations between both parties, then either party may request a trial date at which time witnesses will be called upon to give evidence, along with expert reports being submitted by medical experts. While the trial is taking place, you’ll be responsible for all medical treatment and need to wait until the judgment has been handed down before your compensation claim can be paid.
As we saw, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind when you’re going through the compensation claim process. So, now that you know what to expect, it’s time for you to take action and find out if the accident was someone else’s fault. Good luck with your case!
Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.