What you should expect during a car accident claim process will depend on whether you are trying to handle the process on your own as a DIY project or you have a lawyer on your side. Your experience will be vastly different, depending on which of these paths you choose. A South Carolina car accident attorney can negotiate directly with the insurance company’s claims adjuster on your behalf.
When you work with a lawyer, you will talk to the attorney about what happened at the accident. Your lawyer will review the accident report from law enforcement as well as your medical records. Your employer’s documents will be evidence of the time you missed from work without pay. Your lawyer can try to reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s automobile liability insurance carrier. If the case does not settle, your attorney can file a lawsuit with the court for money damages, when appropriate.
The insurer is not allowed to contact you when you have a lawyer, so you will not have to deal with annoying phone calls or emails from a high-pressure insurance company employee.
What to Expect During a Car Accident Claim
Here are a few of the things to look out for if you try to handle your injury claim on your own:
- Teams of claims adjusters, investigators, and defense attorneys. Multi-billion-dollar insurance companies can outwork and outlast an individual who tries to take them on alone. These companies make their profits by paying injured people as little as possible. The claims adjuster might act friendly, but remember that his job is to get rid of your case cheaply.
- Recorded statement. The adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement, telling you that this is how you can tell your side of the story. In reality, these statements only help the insurance carrier, not you. The insurer can talk your words out of context and twist them into something you did not intend. You should not give a recorded statement without a lawyer advising you. Better yet, tell the adjuster to talk to your lawyer.
- Low-ball offer. Unless you work in the industry, you have no way to know the monetary value of your car accident claim accurately. Two people in the same collision can have vastly different injuries, making them eligible for widely varying settlement amounts. People who settle with the insurer without a lawyer helping them often find out too late that they should have gotten much more money.
- Statute of limitations. Every state limits how much time you have to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for personal injury, including car accidents. If you miss the deadline, you will lose the right to go after money damages, no matter how badly you were hurt. The claims adjuster knows the time limit and might drag out negotiations with you, hoping that the deadline will pass.
You do not have to go through this experience on your own. Contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation. Our South Carolina car accident attorneys can handle the car accident claim process so that you can focus on getting better.