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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How Does a Car Accident Settlement Work?

For the vast majority of car accidents, the injured parties work out settlements with insurance companies. All parties usually try to avoid lawsuits and trials, as there is no guarantee that these can be resolved favourably.

Regardless of the severity of the accident, most settlements work in the same way. Here is all the necessary information to prepare for one.

Settling a Case

Settling a Case

As already mentioned, most people prefer settlements over jury trials. The reason behind that is the fact that settlements often offer the best possible solution for everyone involved. A trial might not do the same.

Moreover, trials usually take a long time, especially for severe accidents with a lot of evidence and witnesses to go through. Since people want to resolve the issue as soon as possible, a settlement is a better choice.

The Settlement Process

Every settlement process begins with one party filing an insurance claim. Such a claim can help them recover any funds they spent on medical bills, pain and suffering, or repairs for their vehicle.

To support this claim, the plaintiff will have to offer evidence. The evidence can include medical reports and bills, photos of the scene of the accident, witness testimonies, and anything else that might be of help to prove their case. Throughout this process, it is best to work with an experienced lawyer. They will know exactly what to look for and how to ensure the claim is as strong as it can be.

After gathering all the necessary evidence, the injured party needs to draft a demand letter. This letter should contain the claim explaining all the injuries and expenses. Moreover, it should lay out all the damages the party wants to recover. Since the wording in this letter is extremely important, it is best to have experienced car accident attorneys look it over before sending it.

After the insurance company receives the letter, it will investigate the claim and look at every detail provided in it. Its findings will then determine whether it accepts the claim or denies it.

The Next Phase

If the insurer accepts the claim, it will make a settlement offer to the injured party. From then on, the parties will negotiate the terms and come to an agreement. The assistance of a lawyer at this stage is pivotal, as insurance agencies tend to look after themselves only. Thus, a lawyer would help ensure that the injured party’s interests are taken into account as well.

Alternatively, the insurance company might deny the claim. In this case, it will most likely allow the plaintiff to be the claims adjuster. That will require writing and filing a complaint to a county or district court. At this stage, the assistance of a lawyer is not only preferable but also necessary.

From then on, a court will handle the case and the complaint. The case could stretch out, but the injured party will have a chance to recover what it has lost once again.

Time Is Of The Essence

The most important thing when it comes to insurance claims is filing them as soon as possible. Every state has its own statute of limitations, which places limits on how long a party can wait after an accident before filing any type of claim.

In Iowa, these statues proclaim that people have anywhere between one and five years to do something. Just how much time there is depends on the severity of the accident and the type of injury sustained.

Since car accidents usually involve a lot of stress and even severe physical injuries, people often do not think of filing these claims immediately. However, time is of the essence, and waiting can lead to parties losing the right to file any claims.

That is why hiring a lawyer to consult on the case is pivotal. They will take care of the logistics by themselves, allowing the injured party to rest and heal without worrying.

To Sum Up

Receiving fair treatment and a decent settlement offer is not always guaranteed after a car accident. To ensure one gets all of that and more, it is essential to hire an experienced lawyer to handle the case from beginning to end. That way, the injured party’s interests will be looked after in every way. They can also help with at-fault parties in how to protect their assets after a car accident.

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