Insurance Settlements for Auto Accidents

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The first person you may deal with at the insurance company is the claims adjuster.  Their job is to get you to sign a release (usually a settlement form) of your claim for as little money as possible.  They do this by offering you an insurance settlement quickly.

Process of Insurance Settlements for Auto Accidents

To receive an insurance settlement that may include compensation for pain and suffering and/or compensatory damages, you will need to take the following into consideration:

  • Whose fault is it?
  • Getting a claim started
  • Understanding insurance coverage
  • How much you claim is worth
  • Processing your claim
  • Negotiating a settlement
  • Finalizing your settlement
  • Hiring an attorney
  • When to seek arbitration

Most injury claims are not settled until all medical treatment has been completed.

Pain and Suffering and Obtaining Compensatory Damages

The formula that most insurance companies use for calculating damages begins with adding up the medical special damages.  These are the total medical expenses incurred as a result of the personal injury.  Next they add general damages, which relates to pain and suffering, anxiety, depression or other non-monetary claims. 

Compensatory damages are paid by the defendant to repay you and the other victims of the car accident (such as your spouse of children) for physical injuries, emotional injuries, and monetary costs caused by the accident. 

How Lawyers Can Help

If your case involves intricate issues, such as significant injuries, then it is usually prudent to hire an auto accident attorney.  They will know how to deal with complex liability issues or complicated medical opinions.  They will also be familiar with the tactics used by the insurance carrier know how to protect their client.