Your recovery from your accident will be under the direction of medical providers, and specialists, who will provide treatment and pos
sibly prescribe medications to manage pain. As your accident claim progresses, your doctor may disable you for a time. You may be referred to chiropractors and/or physical therapists to assist in the healing process for soft tissue injuries. You should follow their directions to the letter. Once your doctor finds that your recovery is essentially complete or at least has stabilized, he will notify you and your attorney.
At the appropriate point in the process of your claim, your lawyer will notify the at-fault party’s insurance company of their total liability for all items which require compensation, and also how the accident has affected your life in general to establish a value for pain and suffering. Your lawyer and case manager will gather all documentary evidence of your claim, including the police reports, witness statements, medical bills, ambulance bills (if any), time off from work and associated lost income with supporting statements from your employer, statements from other involved parties who were affected by the accident, and any other information that supports your claim. For significant injuries which may require long term care, your doctor may be requested to provide an estimate of future treatment.
Evaluation and Demand for Settlement
Once documentary evidence is gathered, your lawyer will then evaluate your claim to set a value range for all claimed losses. The evaluation is a range from low to high of what we are willing to accept to settle the case. Since your attorney handles car accident claims on a daily basis, he or she has experience with similar claims and is equipped to assess what is a fair and equitable settlement for your claim.
Your attorney will prepare a Demand Letter to be forwarded to the liable parties to demand payment for all you have suffered as a result of the accident. A strong Demand is the basis of your claim and will set a starting point in the negotiation process with the adverse parties. The demand letter will contain a description of what happened, including dates times and locations of the accident, why the other driver was at fault, what injuries you suffered, and what compensation you and your lawyer believe is fair settlement of the claim. Attached to the demand letter will be documentary evidence of the claim.
Writing a strong demand which will survive the attempts by the insurance company to minimize their liability is perhaps one of the best reasons to hire an attorney to assist with a car accident claim. The demand will detail all suffered losses and will include language to minimize potential claims of comparative negligence by the insurance company, which may attempt to split responsibility for the accident between you and the responsible party and reduce your settlement.
Most accident victims do not know how to avoid the legal pitfalls which can limit their rights when dealing with adverse legal entity such as an insurance company, and will unwittingly add extraneous information which can damage their claim, or neglect to include important language which will protect their rights in this type of dispute. Furthermore, most people are unable to be completely objective when writing about themselves. The objective evaluation and support of a third party, especially someone who knows the law and how juries respond in such cases, is essential to obtaining the highest settlement for your claims. Correct medical descriptions of injuries and treatments are also critical to this process.
The Richard Harris Law Firm will Demand a Fair Settlement for your claims
Our lawyers handle auto accident claims on a regular basis. They know how to structure a demand which will establish the highest value for your claims and will protect your rights under the law. Once a Demand is filed with the insurance company, negotiations begin, and our next installment in this series will discuss the negotiation process of a car accident claim. If you’ve been in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.