Settling a Car Accident Claim in Hampton
When settling a car accident claim in Hampton, it is important to seek legal counsel from a dedicated attorney who can help you through this process. Our team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could review your case and can help you obtain a fair settlement after your serious car crash. By hiring an attorney, you could avoid many of the common pitfalls that prevent injured parties from receiving fair payment.
How Long Does it Take to Receive a Settlement?
The time it takes to receive a settlement varies greatly from case to case. It is difficult and often not advisable to begin negotiating a case until the claimant is released from active medical treatment by his doctors. Injured parties in Hampton should not try to settle their car wreck claim until they have a full understanding of the extent of their injuries and the length of time it may take for them to fully recover from those injuries, if ever. Therefore, in general, the length of time from the accident through settlement varies because it is largely contingent upon how long medical treatment takes.
Additionally, claimants should not begin to negotiate and settle a case working under the assumption that they will fully recover until they know that is certainly true. Once a case is settled, the insurance companies typically require an injured party to sign a release of all claims, which then prohibit an individual from reopening the case.
It is unfortunate when someone decides to settle a case because they believe their injuries are relatively minor, only to find out after settlement that their injuries are worse than originally expected. It is often impossible to reopen a case to receive additional payments for a continuing injury after a case has settled.
In general, cases involving relatively minor injuries that require minimal medical care can come to a settlement relatively quickly. If someone suffers catastrophic injuries that require many months or years of care, that could extend the period of time before which she can begin negotiations and ultimately, attempt to reach a settlement in the car accident case.
Speeding Up the Settlement Process in Hampton
A claimant can expedite the settlement process by listening to his doctors, keeping appointments, and doing what is necessary to get better as quickly as he realistically can. Once a claimant is better, then he can safely move forward with negotiations.
Another way a claimant can expedite the process is by keeping her attorney fully advised of the status of her medical treatment. Once an injured party completes her medical treatment, her attorney can pull together all the relevant medical information and evidence to send to the insurance company to start the negotiation process.
Simply retaining an attorney can also speed up the settlement process for a car accident case in Hampton. A common complaint we hear from people who attempt to handle their own claims is that the insurance company is not calling them back, the insurance company is slow to gather the medical records, or they are having difficulty getting the medical records themselves.
An experienced law firm knows how to quickly get the medical records, get in touch with the insurance adjusters, and apply as much pressure as possible to get settlement offers. It is not unusual for an insurance company to take many weeks or months to send an initial settlement offer on a case. A law firm can apply the pressure or the threat of a lawsuit to get a prompt settlement offer in a car crash case.
Potential Issues When Settling a Car Accident Claim
Some common issues that a person attempting to handle a car wreck claim on his own can encounter is silence from the insurance company. A common complaint we hear from people is that the insurance adjuster will just not get back to them. This adds delay, uncertainty, and frustration to the whole process.
Another common issue that may occur while settling a motor vehicle accident claim in Hampton is the insurance company asking for additional information. It is not unusual for an insurance company to ask for three to five years of prior medical records if it believes the accident-related complaints are actually from some pre-existing condition or previous injury. Oftentimes, the insurance company does not ask for that initially. They ask after looking through the claimed medical treatment, usually in order to drag things out.
Another issue that a claimant may encounter is receiving a lowball settlement offer. People often wait many, many months to get an offer that ends up being disappointing. After this point, an injured party may have to restart the process, hire a lawyer, and then attempt to pursue litigation, which could end up adding months to the length of the case. Whereas, if a lawyer handles the case from the beginning, she can anticipate often when an insurance company will not be fair and move the case directly into litigation, if necessary, and speed the process along.
Lien Holders When Settling a Case
Sometimes billing departments help doctors, health insurance companies, and other lien holders when they are by law are entitled to a part of the settlement. In these cases, the car insurance companies may reach a settlement figure but withhold a portion of that settlement or refuse to send the check or disperse the settlement until they sort out who is owed what from the settlement.
This can add tremendous delay because the car insurance companies do not necessarily prioritize gathering or seeking out this information. A personal injury law firm can anticipate these settlement issues, get this lien information, and confirm all these balances so that when it comes time to settle the case, all that information is available. Also, a lawyer is then in a better position to tell a claimant how much money she can actually receive from the settlement.
Speak with a Hampton Attorney About Settling a Car Crash Case
Having skilled legal representation by your side is important when settling a car accident claim in Hampton. Our team could fight for your best interests throughout this process and work hard to get you the compensation you need. To get started on your case, call today for a free consultation.