If you've been the victim of a careless driver and ended up hurt, you have some choices about how to proceed. It's not easy to know what to do after such an event, so read on to find out more about what many victims think are their main two choices – letting the insurance company handle things or taking the other side to court.
Letting the Insurance Company Handle Things
Many auto insurance companies build their reputations on trust and customer service. Particularly when dealing with companies that have been around awhile, accident victims tend to look to the insurance adjuster for help after an accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are businesses, and they must make a profit to stay in business. If they pay out claims, that won't happen. What that means for accident victims can range from delayed payments for medical bills to outright denials for covered expenses.
If your accident was minor and you had little to no injuries, you may be able to work with the at-fault driver's insurer to pay your expenses. In most cases, however, you won't be able to recover damages from that insurer like pain and suffering and lost wages. If you experience problems with your claim, you might have to speak to a personal injury lawyer.
Taking the Other Side to Court
Just as it might be a mistake to go along with what the insurance company says, it's just as bad to jump into a lawsuit. Taking cases to court is expensive and very time-consuming for everyone involved. There is a less-stressful and less-expensive alternative, however, if you take the time to speak to a personal injury lawyer. Settlements are a great way to be paid what you deserve from the wreck and to keep things out of court. Settlements are an agreement between you and the other side in which they agree to pay you a certain sum of money in exchange for dropping the case.
How to Evaluate Your Own Case
The following issues are key in a car accident case, and it pays to apply each one to your own situation when trying to decide how to move forward.
- Fault – If you share any of the fault for the accident, you will need a personal injury attorney to ensure you don't pay more than your fair share.
- Injuries – If you have permanent or very serious physical injuries, seeking a settlement or even going to court may be necessary.
- Evidence – The more evidence of fault and of your damages you have, the better equipped you will be to seek legal action.
To help you sort things out, speak to a car accident attorney and make the right choice for your situation.