Have you recently received an injury in a car accident?
If so, then you’ll want to file a personal injury claim for compensation. After all, medical bills don’t come cheap and why should you pay for someone else’s mistake? But if you’ve never filed a claim before, you might not even know where to start.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for our guide about how to file a car accident injury claim.
File a Claim with Your Insurer
You might see this referred to as a ‘first-party claim’. If the at-fault driver isn’t insured, then this might be what you need to do. If you’re filing a first-party claim, you’ll need a meeting with a claims adjuster.
It’s also likely you’ll have to give them access to your medical history and records. Any statement you make to the adjuster can be (and often are) used against you to throw out your claim.
Decide If You’ll File a Lawsuit
File a ‘third-party’ claim with the at-fault driver’s insurers to start. At the accident, you should have gotten the name, contact, and insurance details of the driver.
You then send a notice to the carrier of your claim, including information like:
- the insured’s details
- your details
- date of the accident
Send this along with a letter stating you got injured, and intend to pursue a claim. Don’t get into the details here, this is only a notice of your intentions.
Decide If You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
It’s a good idea to hire an attorney, especially if you expect your case to end in a car accident lawsuit. Only in the simplest cases where your injuries are very minor could you expect to go it alone.
For the most part, the attorney will work on a contingency basis. You don’t pay anything unless they win your case or you agree on a car accident settlement. They then take an agreed percentage of the amount you win.
Given their experience and knowledge of the legal system, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney. They’ll fight for you, and you’ll stand a better chance of winning.
File a Complaint
In most states, a lawsuit starts when the plaintiff files a complaint (or petition). This is a document that’s usually made up of paragraphs (numbered) explaining:
- what happened
- claimed damages
- the legal reason for the lawsuit
Once the plaintiff files the complaint to the court, it signals the start of the lawsuit.
Issue the Complaint to the Defendant
Next, the defendant gets ‘served’ with a copy of the complaint and a summons. Each jurisdiction has rules on who can serve the complaint, how and when it should serve it.
Usually, the plaintiff has to serve the defendant within 30 days. If the defendant is hard to locate, there’s an option to extend this deadline.
Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know how to file a car accident injury claim to get the justice you deserve.
It’s important that you file your claim with the injurer as soon as possible. Any delay might get used against you. But never go into detail, keep it brief and watch what you say.
In most cases, it’s better to hire a personal injury lawyer to help guide you through. They’ll be there for you and are in a position to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other blog posts today!