Filing an insurance claim is often a necessary step after a car accident. You generally won’t be permitted to file a car accident lawsuit unless you have first exhausted the insurance claims process.
After the Accident
If anyone is injured, seek immediate medical attention. You should then call the police to have a police report made about the accident.
You should also document as much information about the accident as possible for your own records. Take photos of both vehicles and any injuries. Get the contact information of all parties involved, including any witnesses, and get the insurance information from the other driver.
Making Your Claim
If your accident didn’t result in major damage, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to file an insurance claim. But if you suffered serious injuries, missed time at work, and have substantial medical bills, you’ll need to file a claim to recoup your losses.
Don’t wait too long to file your insurance claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years in North Carolina, but insurance companies may require you to file a claim much sooner than that.
You may be required to contact your own insurance company first. Before you deal with the other driver’s insurance company, you may want to talk to a personal injury attorney to get legal advice.
The insurance company will want to interview you and ask you how the accident happened. Be very careful during this process because any statements you make could negatively impact your claim.
Negotiating a Settlement
Insurance companies want to settle cases as quickly and cheaply as possible, and many claims are denied. They may also try to get you to say things that hurt your case, which is why you should consider having an attorney deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Never admit fault after an accident. Even if it’s clear that the other driver caused the accident, the insurance company may try to offer you a low settlement that doesn’t account for the other damages you can legally seek compensation for.
If you can’t negotiate a deal with the insurance company, you will then have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. Even after the lawsuit is filed, negotiations can continue, and a settlement may be reached before a trial takes place.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys.