After a car accident, all you really want to do is heal your injuries and get back on track with your life. But obtaining compensation for your injuries can be a very long, frustrating process — especially when it comes to dealing with the red tape put up by the insurance company. An experienced Vancouver WA car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a car accident claim or litigate a car accident lawsuit if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached.
How Does a Car Accident Claim Work?
For most people, the road to financial compensation begins with filing a car accident claim. This insurance claim basically notifies the insurance company about the damages and injuries you sustained in the accident. Once you file your claim, the insurer will assign an adjuster to investigate the facts and circumstances of the accident.
During their investigation, the adjuster will carefully analyze the police report and review your medical records. In addition, they may also schedule you for an independent physical or medical examination conducted by their own personal physician. Sometimes, they may even place you under surveillance. The insurance company adjuster’s investigation usually involves the following:
- Interviewing any eyewitnesses;
- Inspecting the scene of the accident;
- Assessing all property damages; and,
- Analyzing any other piece of evidence.
Furthermore, the adjuster will more than likely ask you to record a statement. Though you should always be polite and professional, never under any circumstances leave a statement, written or recorded, without your attorney present. Remember that the insurance company hired the adjuster to find ways to get out of paying for your claim. This means that the adjuster may attempt to coax you into leaving a statement that damages your case.
After the adjuster concludes their investigation, they will turn their findings over to the insurance company. Then, the insurer must decided whether to approve or deny your car accident claim. If the insurance company’s assessment is inaccurate, you can file a car accident lawsuit.
How Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Work?
If an agreeable settlement cannot be reached, you may want to file a car accident lawsuit. Lawsuits are a more formal process in which your lawyer will need to file a written complaint with the court. After initiating the lawsuit, a judge will be assigned to your case. However, before your case goes to trial, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Notify the insurance company about your lawsuit
- Exchange evidence with the defendants
- Take sworn depositions and testimonies
- Respond to legal arguments and attend any hearings
- Participate in mediation and other processes of dispute resolution
- Negotiate a car accident settlement
After conducting the steps above, if you cannot settle your case out of court, you will go to trial. During your trial, your effective attorney will present all evidence and arguments that support your case. At the end of the trial, the judge will issue their verdict, hopefully awarding you with the compensation that you deserve.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
While the law doesn’t require to have an attorney to file a claim or lawsuit, it’s in your best interest to do so. Remember, insurance companies always have a team of lawyers ready to litigate. You need a knowledgeable person on your side that will go toe-to-toe with them. Furthermore, an attorney can help you accurately evaluate your claim’s worth, as well as build a strong case in your favor.
Whether you need to file a car accident claim or car accident lawsuit, a Vancouver WA car accident lawyer at Etengoff Pak Law Group can help. Contact us today.