The hours, days and weeks after an injury from a car collision that you did not cause can be filled with pain, stress and uncertainty. You may be worried about how you will be able to move forward from this overwhelming situation, how you will be able to ensure a steady income while recovering, how long you will be incapacitated and who will cover all those growing medical bills.
Your first step will likely be to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company as soon as possible. Shortly after that, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. Their job is to investigate your case and determine how much their employer (the insurance company) will offer for a settlement. Usually, this offer is a pittance compare with what you rightfully deserve. Insurance adjusters spend their time looking into every possible reason to reduce the settlement amount, which is why you need to partner with car accident lawyers in Roanoke VA you trust.
Just keep in mind how one-sided this investigation process will be. If there’s someone working full-time on behalf of the insurance company to reduce the amount of your settlement, why shouldn’t you have someone working round the clock on your case too?
Here’s an overview of the steps you will likely need to go through after a collision.
File Your Insurance Claim
First, notify the insurance companies about the accident. Hopefully, you have collected the other driver’s insurance information while at the scene of the collision and should submit your claim as soon as possible. Once this is done, the insurance company will begin its investigation.
Work With a Claims Adjuster
Once the claims period has begun, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case and they will start to investigate all relevant information. Meantime, you should be visiting your doctor to verify and document the injuries you have suffered. It’s also advised that you call a Roanoke car accident law firm for a free consultation and to learn your rights.
Negotiate a Settlement
Once the investigation is concluded, the insurance company will offer you an initial settlement. They may say it’s the maximum amount they are willing to give you, but this isn’t true. You and your attorney will initiate a series of negotiations with the insurance company in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement. These negotiations will rely heavily on exhaustive research into damage amounts that have been calculated by your lawyer.
Settling vs. Filing a Complaint
If you have been able to successfully reach an agreement, you will then accept the settlement amount and close this chapter of your life with the financial support necessary to move on. If not, your attorney will have to file an official complaint in court which initiates an official lawsuit. Once that has been filed, the lawsuit will go through a discovery phase, then a deposition. Evidence will be gathered from other involved parties through testimonies, after which time negotiations will open up again.
Preparing For Trial
Once the discovery phase is over, you can negotiate with the new information you have uncovered. If this negotiation is unsuccessful, preparations will be made for trial. Your case will be heard in front of a jury or judge, who will determine the outcome of your lawsuit.
Contact Altizer Law
When you need a car accident lawyer in Southwest Virginia following a collision, don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 540-345-2000. We would be happy to go over the typical stages of a lawsuit in Virginia with you.