Most car accident claims will be settled without the need for a trial. However, there are many hurdles to overcome until you get to that point. While there is no one timeframe for setting a car accident claim, you can expect some time to pass before you have a signed agreement. Here are the steps of the car accident claims before you can settle.
Filing the Claim
The first thing that you have to do is file the actual claim. This could be through an informal claim or a more formal demand letter. Your claim would include the evidence that supports your claim along with documentation of your damages.
Once you file your claim, the insurance company will take their time to respond. At some point, the insurance company will respond to your claim. Their response would take on one of two forms:
- They could deny your claim in its entirety if they do not believe that you have the evidence to support it or that you were at fault.
- They could make you a settlement offer after accepting liability.
Negotiating for More Money
The initial settlement offer is just the first part of the negotiation process. Your attorney may counter with another demand letter or a number of your own. The back-and-forth may last many months as you and the insurance company move closer to your positions.
The insurance company expects you to negotiate. If you do not negotiate, you may be leaving money on the table. In any negotiation, you must ask the questions to see what you can get.
One way to increase the chances of success in your case is mediation. You and the insurance company can enlist a third party to help you talk to each other. The mediator aims to reduce conflict by facilitating negotiations.
The one pressure point you have in negotiations is that you can file a lawsuit. If the insurance company will not pay you at all, or they will not pay you enough, you may need to take the case to court. Once you sue, it does not foreclose the possibility of a settlement. The insurance company would likely continue to make your settlement offers while the lawsuit was pending.
Taking the case to trial means you could get more money, but it also introduces the risk of getting nothing. There is a reason why most cases will settle without needing a trial.
Since the process can be detailed and involved, it requires the knowledge and experience of someone who has been there many times before and can fight for your legal rights. Your first step in the process should be to contact an experienced lawyer.
Speak to Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC
If you have been hurt in a crash, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC can help. To schedule a free consultation, call 757-LAW-0000 or contact us online. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Eastern Shore, Virginia.