If you, or someone close to you, has been in a car accident, you may be wondering where to turn and what steps to take. The aftermath of a motor vehicle incident, particularly one with injuries involved, can cause immense stress. Handling the process of filing a claim and seeking a proper settlement can be overwhelming, especially if the situation has caused damage to yourself, your loved ones or your property.
Having a car accident lawyer on your side relieves stress and reduces what you need to know about winning a settlement. Here’s how it’s done.
You have a car accident settlement to win
After a motor vehicle accident, you can file for a car accident compensation claim, which will be handled through your insurance company. The insurance company should process motor vehicle accident claims in no more than four weeks. A claim is essentially a legal demand for compensation.
It’s important to keep in mind that you have 28 days from the accident to report the incident to the police (if they weren’t at the scene). If you didn’t report it to the police, that can change the situation. The insurance company also needs to be informed during that period of time. You’ll receive the event number of the incident in the police report, and you’ll use that to file your claim with insurance.
You also have three months to file for a personal injury claim after a car accident. If you’re able to do so, you should gather as much evidence as possible after your accident. Take photos, account for news reports, bills and anything else.
It sounds simple, and it can be, but sometimes things are not quite this straightforward when it comes to car accident settlements and personal injury law. The insurance company may contest your request for damages, or if it’s approved, you might not receive the amount of compensation you deserve. If so, you may want to sue. This is when the court steps in. You’ll want a personal injury lawyer on your side to advise you on how to best take legal action.
Ensure your compensation is fair
If you’re facing medical bills and filing an injury or motor vehicle accident claim, you may want to have a lawyer guiding you. A lawyer can help you to negotiate a higher settlement and get the money you deserve.
Did you know that even if the motor vehicle accident isn’t completely the fault of the other party — meaning that you are partially or fully at fault — you may still be entitled to compensation for your injury or injuries? A car accident injury lawyer can help you get the money you need, and you can file for personal injury claims no matter who is at fault.
If you’re deemed partly at fault, the compensation you receive will be reduced. The amount is determined by how fault is apportioned. Meaning, the higher your level of responsibility in the accident, the lower your compensation. So for example, if you were under the influence or not wearing a seatbelt, among other scenarios, that may work against you. There may also be outside elements at play, such as animals on the road, or hitting an illegally parked car. A lawyer can help make sure you aren’t assigned a fault that you don’t deserve. They can help you get the most out of your settlement.
Auto accident settlement scenarios
For most auto accidents, particularly minor ones, the compensation from a claim is rather small and is awarded with the intention to help defray medical costs. This would be just a few thousand dollars in benefits. However, for larger claims in front of the Magistrate’s court, you could be entitled to up to $150,000. Depending on the incident, injuries, medical bills, damages and situation, hiring a personal injury lawyer could increase your compensation from the insurance company.
If the car accident caused significant pain and suffering, like the loss of a limb, burns or disfigurement, you may qualify for additional compensation. If it caused the wrongful death of a relative, you can also qualify. Personal property damage or loss also come into play. Our team of lawyers will address any such developments as part of your motor vehicle accident claim and the insurance company will be involved.
Car accident client story
The accident victim was involved in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver attempted to make a right hand turn without giving way. Our client sustained a spinal fracture which required surgery, as well as abdominal and psychological injuries. In this scenario, the other driver’s insurer was responsible for paying the client’s medical expenses, for weekly wages while the client wasn’t able to work and for the damages of pain and suffering. The lawyers negotiated the settlement based on the client’s potential inability to find work in the future due to car accident injury.
Consult a personal injury lawyer
- State-specific information about the required information, legal process and next steps that you need to follow to make a motor vehicle or car accident claim across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
- Relevant time limits you need to follow and the compensation you may be entitled to.
- The kinds of questions you need to be able to answer and a checklist of steps to take.
This guide is a great place to start and will help to answer your questions following a car accident.
Should you have more questions, like what to do in a wrongful death scenario, how to assist an accident victim who isn’t able to file claims because of injury or what to do if you’re seeking a higher car accident settlement, our personal injury lawyers have the answers.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. With our in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the accident compensation claim process, the lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners can help you receive fair compensation following an accident. We have a strong record when it comes to car accident claims and injury settlements. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you win your case.