Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when a party suffers harm as a result of an act and/or incident caused by the actions of another. Often times, the responsible party pays damages to the injured person for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other ongoing expenses. Every case is different, but claims involving car accidents are, by far, the most common type of personal injury case. While personal injury cases can be formalized through the retention of an attorney, hundreds of minor personal injury claims are filed throughout the country every day. Formal personal injury claims can be determined through litigation and a court judgment or, as is much more common, through informal settlement agreements. Consequently, there are six things that an individual can do to settle a car accident claim:
1. Act Quickly. Immediately after the incident occurs, the victim should contact his/her insurance company to initiate a claim. Acting quickly ensures that the individual recalls all details about the accident accurately and promptly.
2. Keep Records. Similar to any other legal suit, an involved individual should keep a file of records regarding the car accident. This file should include any police reports, medical bills, and repair estimates.
3. Calculate Damages. Before demanding any damages, an individual must calculate the value of the claim and/or all expenses incurred as a result of the incident. When calculating expenses, an individual should include medical expenses, loss of income, disability, pain and/or suffering, and vehicle repair expenses. After computing all of the aforementioned expenses, an injured party should establish an acceptable minimum settlement figure.
4. Send a Demand Letter. After calculating an acceptable settlement figure, a victim should send a demand letter to the insurance company to inform the company of his/her demands. Typically, a party should demand at least 25% more than their minimum number as insurance companies commonly negotiate for a lower number.
5. Get Everything in Writing. Often times, oral negotiations are not sufficient to guarantee an adequate settlement, regardless of what oral agreements were made. Consequently, a settling individual should ensure that any agreed upon settlement be in writing and signed by both parties.
6. Retain Representation. Although not required, retaining a car accident lawyer in Arlington, TX, like from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, may help make the settlement process easier for the victim. For an untrained individual, negotiating with an opposing party may prove to be an unnecessary challenge. As a result, many experts recommend that injured parties retain representation to ensure their demands are adequately represented and met.
The decision to file a lawsuit can have monumental impacts on a plaintiff’s life. Personal injury lawsuits are becoming exceedingly more common throughout the United States with nearly 400,000 cases filed each year. As a result, an interested party needs to be fully informed before pursuing any set legal reparations. While litigation is always an option, settlements provide an opportunity for parties to resolve the dispute outside of court.