Understanding the Car Accident Claims Process
Car accidents are a leading cause of financial loss in the United States. Even minor wrecks can result in injuries, which lead to economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. In addition they are often the cause of non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
Following an accident injury victims should know how to file a claim so that they can hold liable parties accountable for accident damages. Here, car accident lawyers from Moody Law, serving Lakeland, FL, Winter Haven, FL, and surrounding areas, provide a brief overview of the car accident claims process.
File an Insurance Claim
Following a car accident involved parties should file a claim with their insurance provider as soon as possible. When filing an insurance claim drivers will likely be asked to provide the following information:
- Insurance policy number
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Details regarding how the accident occurred
- Insurance information and contact information for other involved drivers
- Police report number or name of the police department that responded to the crash
Once a claim is filed the insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine fault for the collision. Until fault is established, the insurance company should cover costs associated with injuries and property damage.
Hire an Attorney
When another person or party is at-fault for a car accident, their insurance company should accept liability and provide compensation for accident damages. However, insurance companies are out to make a profit, just like any other type of business. Because of this, they often attempt to make a quick settlement that doesn’t fully account for the extent of accident losses. To maximize compensation after a collision it is a good idea to hire a knowledgeable car accident lawyer who will work on your behalf.
File a Claim in Civil Court
If an attorney finds that there is grounds to file a civil lawsuit, a claim needs to be filed in court. To file a car accident claim, the accident victim, or plaintiff, fills out a form called a complaint. The complaint details elements of the case, such as who is involved in the case, what caused the accident, and the type and amount of compensation that is being pursued. The complaint needs to be filed in civil court in the county where the accident occurred.
After a claim is filed with the court it will be processed and the defendant will be served. The defendant then has a certain amount of time to respond to the claim. Their answer includes their legal defense to the claim. This begins the pretrial process. During pretrial both parties have time to build their case by gathering evidence, questioning involved pirates and/or witnesses, and requesting documents like medical records and police reports. Throughout this phase, lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant must exchange information that is pertinent to the case.
A settlement is the ultimate goal of a car accident claim. Before going to trial attorneys from each side negotiate back and forth in an attempt to reach a pre-trial settlement. In many cases our Lakeland lawyers are able to get clients the compensation they are due without going to trial. If a settlement cannot be reached we are prepared to argue our case in court and fight for maximum rewards for accident damages.
Contact Moody Law
If you have been injured in a car accident and are considering legal action, the lawyers at Moody Law are ready to assist you throughout the claims process. To discuss your case with our legal team, send us a message online, or call (863) 284-9090 to schedule a consultation.