Seeking a fair settlement after a car accident can be a daunting task. Without legal guidance, you’ll find yourself composing a demanding letter for the insurance company, detailing your injuries and the compensation you seek. Then comes the challenging process of negotiation with the insurance company. It’s an area where many people lack the necessary experience. In cases where a fair settlement can’t be reached, the last resort might be filing a lawsuit. Collaborating with an attorney can significantly ease this process. Here’s a breakdown of the process when you work with a lawyer:
Steps to Secure a Fair Settlement
Obtaining a fair settlement involves several critical steps. While you focus on your recovery, your attorney will handle the following:
- Investigating Insurance Policy Limits: Your lawyer will investigate the insurance policy limits of the at-fault party.
- Gathering Evidence: They will obtain photographs, witness statements, accident reports, and hire professionals like accident reconstruction experts to understand the accident’s circumstances.
- Obtaining Medical Opinions: Independent medical opinions will be sought to assess the extent and nature of your injuries.
- Legal Research: Your attorney will stay updated on changes in the law that could impact your case.
Once your attorney has gathered this information, they will prepare a comprehensive settlement demand package. This package will contain various elements such as evidence of the other party’s fault, calculations of your lost wages due to your injuries, a detailed account of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are pursuing. If you approve the settlement demand package, your attorney will proceed to negotiate with the insurer or the defense lawyer.
The Process After Accepting a Final Offer
If you choose to accept a final settlement offer, there are additional steps to consider:
- Signing Documents: The insurance company will send you the settlement agreement and other necessary documents for your signature.
- Funds in Trust: The settlement funds, as recommended by the Washington State Bar Association, will be held in a trust account for ten days.
- Addressing Liens: Your attorney will contact healthcare providers and insurers to confirm outstanding bill amounts and any other first-party liens requiring reimbursement.
- Liens Resolution: Negotiation or payment of first-party liens.
- Final Accounting: A final statement of your account, which includes fees, costs, and reimbursements, will be provided to you.
- Receiving Settlement: The final settlement check will be issued to you.
In the event that you do not accept the final settlement offer, the next step would be filing a lawsuit to pursue the full and just compensation you deserve. While a lawsuit might result in a trial, it is still possible to reach a settlement agreement with the opposing party at any point in the process, up until a final decision is rendered.
Guidance from Car Accident Lawyers in Washington
The path to securing the compensation you need after a car accident can be lengthy and challenging. At Alliance Law Group, PS, our team of experienced Washington car accident lawyers can help you navigate this journey, facilitating the process so that you receive the fair settlement you rightfully deserve, swiftly and efficiently. Reach out to us today at 253-581-0660 or contact us online to arrange a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Your rights and well-being deserve dedicated legal support.