Car accidents happen often; even so, the process of filing a claim and receiving a settlement is widely misunderstood by the majority of drivers out there. Some think that any settlement amount can be requested, while others assume that only one party can be held accountable. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to know the basics of car accident settlements – which include how the process works and the value of your claim.
The Crash Settlement Process
The settlement process begins almost immediately after your accident has occurred. It will end with you receiving a check for compensation. While it sounds simple, there are numerous complex steps in the middle that must be completed – and within a certain timeframe – in order for your case to be successful.
Technically, the process starts at the accident scene. This is where you will gather information, known as evidence, about your claim. From the time when the accident occurs until you submit your claim, you must collect and preserve evidence. This evidence can include documents, photos, and anything else that you may have to prove that (i) the accident occurred, (ii) someone was at-fault, and (iii) it impacted your life.
Some pieces of evidence that could be helpful in proving this include:
- Facts about how the accident occurred – with supporting documentation that includes the police report, witness statements, and even photographs.
- A diary of important accident-related information.
- Medical records that show your injuries, treatments, and recovery or prognosis, if you are still undergoing treatments.
- Medical bills that you have paid for, and those that your health or auto insurance have covered.
- A statement that verifies your lost income, paycheck stubs, and possibly a letter from your employer.
- Documents of other financial losses directly associated with your accident.
- Evidence that you have suffered emotionally and physically.
Determining the Value of Your Claim
You will need to meet with a personal injury attorney to accurately estimate your injury claim. An attorney will compute your settlement asking amount based on a variety of factors, which include special losses.
Most insurance companies use a software program that helps them calculate car accident settlement values. The insurance claims adjuster relies on this program heavily to compute how much the company should pay out in an accident case. While it is helpful, it is often inaccurate and rarely addresses the emotional and physical pain. Other insurance companies will multiply specials, such as multiplying your total financial losses by 1.5 to 4, to come to a settlement amount.
The amount your losses are multiplied by will depend on the accuracy and strength of your evidence – as well as the attorney negotiating on your behalf.
For an Accurate Settlement Picture, Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Kentucky
If you want to know how much your injury claim is worth, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Schedule your appointment with a car accident attorney by calling 502-791-9000 or filling out our online contact form with your questions.