What Are the Steps to Getting Compensation After a Car Accident?
Suffering injuries during an accident can be devastating. Not only must you deal with physical pain and medical treatment, but you may have to request time off work and undergo lengthy physical rehabilitation.
The most important thing you can do following an accident is to receive medical care and follow your doctor’s orders. The next vital step you should take is consulting with a trusted personal injury attorney before speaking to an insurance company. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights and work to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Insurance companies do not want to sacrifice profit by paying claims or providing injured victims with financial compensation, which is why you’ll want to speak to an attorney first.
You may be overwhelmed, but understanding how to proceed with obtaining compensation may help you feel like a path to recovery is available. The Macomb County personal injury attorneys at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC would like to explain the steps you should take to pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
The Five Steps of a Car Accident Claim
Typically, there are five main steps to making a car accident claim. To know what to expect during the process, we offer a brief overview of each one.
- Report the Motor Vehicle Collision to Insurance
It’s essential to notify your insurance company soon after a motor vehicle accident. Once a claims adjuster is assigned to your case, the insurance company will review and analyze the information pertaining to the traffic collision.
Michigan is a no-fault state, so unless you opted out of no-fault medical coverage, your own insurance policy will pay for medical bills, lost wages, household replacement services, and outside services you need to help with chores. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident.
Your attorney will also notify the other driver’s insurance company of your intent to pursue a claim for pan and suffering. This is a separate matter from your no-fault benefits.
- Investigation Phase
Your attorney and the insurance claims adjusters will separately investigate the accident and the injuries you suffered. Both parties may interview witnesses, analyze police reports, and use accident reconstruction experts to better understand what caused the accident.
A traffic collision report is an essential tool in the process of obtaining compensation because the law enforcement officer’s report can provide valuable information detailing the accident’s cause and who may be at fault.
- Issue a Settlement Demand
Once your Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC attorney has investigated your claim, reviewed and thoroughly understands your injuries, the accident, and your losses, we will formulate a demand letter to send to the insurance company. The demand will include all aspects of your claim.
- Receive the First Settlement Offer
The first settlement offer you receive may not be the amount you were expecting. Some adjusters will put forth a reasonable settlement offer, one that you can accept and receive in a short amount of time. However, every automobile accident case is unique, and specific factors may make it more likely that further negotiation is needed. Your personal injury attorney can review the initial offer to determine whether it is fair and just and prepare a response.
- Negotiation Phase
Negotiating with the insurance company can be a difficult process. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can put forth evidence and negotiate so you have a greater chance of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so persistence and skill are needed when dealing with insurance claims adjusters.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Following an accident, a personal injury lawyer can handle the settlement negotiations and the claims process so you can focus on recovering. The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC understand how one accident can disrupt your entire life. If you are seeking a car accident lawyer in Macomb County, MI, then contact us today at (586) 776-1700 to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Eastpointe, Clinton Township, and Shelby Township to serve you.