Published on 04/14/2020
What happens after an accident?
If you are injured in an accident and have medical expenses you may be interested in how a personal injury claim can help you. Personal injury claims are the avenue towards being compensated for your injury due to someone else’s negligence. These claims can be complicated and foreboding, but we can help walk you through this process. A claim can be broken down in five more easily understood stages.
The first step in any personal injury claim is setting up the actual claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and any other policies of your own that may have coverage such as Medical Payments, Uninsured or Under-Insured Motorists coverage, or anything else. If your claims have not been set up then our office will be happy to speak with the insurance company on your behalf in order to set up these claims.
Once your claim has been set up the next step is to make sure that you are receiving the health care treatment that you need. You’ll often have already seen a doctor before your claim is set up whether through a visit to the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician, however you may need continuing care. Generally, your claim is not ready for settlement until after you have reached “Maximum Medical Improvement”, meaning that you have recovered as much as possible after your injury.
After treatment is complete our office will compile records and bills from all of your health care providers. These documents will let us know if you have any outstanding medical bills or if your health care providers have any sort of lien on the settlement. We will also compile documentation of your non-medical related expenses, such as lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses.
The next stage of a personal injury claim involves creating what is called a demand package to send to the at-fault insurance adjuster. The demand package is a large compilation of documents including all of your bills and records. More importantly, the demand package is where we tell your story and provide the physical evidence of your accident and resulting injuries. The at-fault insurance adjuster will send an initial offer and we will talk you through the claim and discuss an acceptable number for you to authorize our office to settle your claim. We will work towards obtaining an offer for as much money as possible as long as it is higher than the number you have authorized us to settle at. From there we can reach a settlement.
Agreeing to a settlement does not mean that you immediately obtain the settlement amount from the at-fault insurance company. The at-fault insurance company will send us a check and a release. The release will need to be signed by you (and sometimes notarized). To simplify a release it is a document that says that you are not going to sue the defendants over any aspect of this particular claim any more. The check will be a two-party check, this is a specific type of check that has to be signed both by our office and you and must be run through our trust account. The check must clear through the bank and takes at least a week to process. Once that occurs we can disburse the settlement funds. This is where we will pay outstanding medical bills, liens, fees, and other expenses, and you’ll get your check.
This is a basic outline of the steps of how we can handle your personal injury claim. If you have any questions about the timeline of a claim or are interested in representation please contact our office at (919) 913-0706 to speak with our personal injury attorney.