A car accident is almost always a traumatic experience. You can lose work, your car, and experience life altering injuries. Because of these issues, you should get compensated when you are not at fault for the accident. However, it isn’t always easy getting what you deserve.
There are insurance companies that don’t want to pay, or the other driver doesn’t even have insurance to begin with. You might worry about how you’re going to pay for the expenses you’ve incurred after the accident. This is why it’s important to understand the procedure around getting compensation after an accident. In this article, we will go over several things to understand.
1 – Calculating the amount
There are no guarantees as to how much compensation you could be awarded. However, it’s important to get a ballpark figure so you don’t undersell yourself and accept less than what you deserve.
Figuring out how much money you should get after a car accident isn’t always straightforward. Several things can affect the amount. First, your actual costs, like medical bills and lost wages, are added up. This part is usually clear because you have bills and pay statements to show the amounts.
The trickiest part to calculate is how much you should be awarded for pain and suffering. This is about the physical and emotional stress you faced because of the accident. There’s no exact bill for this, so it’s harder to put a number on it.
Sometimes, people use an injury calculator to get an estimate of what they could end up receiving. This tool considers things like the type of injury and how it affects your life.
2 – Dealing with insurance companies
When you’re in a car accident, dealing with insurance companies is a big part of getting compensated. First, you need to understand what your insurance policy covers. Each policy is different. Some cover more costs than others. It’s important to know what yours includes. This helps you understand what you can expect the insurance company to pay.
Filing an insurance claim is the next step. This means you officially ask the insurance company for money. To do this, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. They’ll ask for details about the accident and your injuries. You’ll also need to give them any evidence you have, like police reports or medical records.
Another important factor is something called comparative negligence. This means looking at if you also had a part in causing the accident. If you did, it might reduce the money you can get. For example, if it’s found that you are 30% responsible for the accident, the amount you receive could be 30% less.
3 – Getting a lawyer
After a car accident, you might wonder if you need a lawyer. It’s good to think about hiring a personal injury attorney if your accident was serious, especially if you’re hurt badly or the insurance company isn’t being fair. If the rules about who caused the accident are unclear or if there’s a lot of money involved, a lawyer can really help.
Choosing the right attorney is key. Look for someone who has experience with car accident cases. They should understand cases like yours and have a record of winning them. It’s also important that you feel comfortable with them. You will be sharing a lot of personal information, so you need to trust them. Meeting with a few lawyers before deciding is a good idea.
4 – Getting your compensation
Once your car accident case is settled or a court decides in your favor, the next step is getting the compensation. This usually comes as a lump sum or a series of payments. If it’s through an insurance claim, the insurance company will send you the agreed amount.
In a lawsuit, the person who caused the accident or their insurance company will pay. The time it takes to get the money can vary, but your lawyer or the insurance adjuster can give you an idea of the timeline.
There’s also the tax side of things to consider. Usually, money you get for physical injuries isn’t taxed. But, if part of your settlement is for lost wages, that part might be taxed like regular income. Also, if you get interest on the settlement, that interest is usually taxable.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting compensated for your injuries. Hopefully, the information in this article has been helpful and you can get everything you deserve.