After you’ve been in a car accident and suffered a serious injury, you may be wondering when you should make your claim. The insurance company seems completely reasonable, and they’ve even offered you a settlement already.
While the insurer involved might seem quick to offer help, remember that the insurance company isn’t there to give you a fair settlement or help you–they are looking to settle the claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is why it’s often in your best interest to speak to an auto accident law firm to ensure you are getting the financial compensation you will need to cover all the losses you have from the accident.
For many accident victims, the idea of filing any sort of injury claim against the other driver involved isn’t the first thing on their minds, as they are more focused on getting better and moving on with their lives. You may also have felt this way but have since found that you may not have any other options besides filing the claim. Whether your medical costs are soaring or the insurance company isn’t cooperating, you may have realized you need to file a claim but simply aren’t sure when the timing is right to do so.
Do You Wait to Recover Fully?
You might be wondering if you should file your claim once you are no longer being treated and have recovered. However, it’s a common misconception that you have to wait until you are healed to file a claim. Waiting can actually make you ineligible for payments, and that could leave you on the hook for covering the medical costs instead of the at-fault driver. Many states, Washington included, place a limit on how long you have to file. In addition, your own insurance policy has restrictions on how long you have to file a claim with them, such as within 30 days of the accident.
Keep in mind that starting a claim doesn’t mean immediately finishing it. You don’t have to settle the claim soon after starting it, but you do need to start the process so you don’t run into problems because you started the claim too late and ran out of time.
Your Attorney Will Help with the Process
Your auto accident law firm will wait for your maximum medical improvement (MMI) before finalizing your claim. This is the point where all the medical professionals involved in your care agree that you’re not going to recover any further and you have recovered as much as you can given your circumstances and injuries. At this point, you can proceed with the settlement of your claim because your attorney will be able to more accurately estimate the care needs and medical costs you’ll have in the future.
When to Contact an Attorney
If you were hurt in a car accident, you should contact an attorney once you’ve received medical treatment and reported the crash to your insurance company. While it may seem odd to start a claim while you’re still under medical care, an experienced attorney will be able to calculate what a fair settlement is in your situation. Experienced auto accident attorneys will have seen cases similar to yours and know what a reasonable settlement is, and they will also weigh your current medical bills and what the future costs could be based on the information from your doctors and economic experts. Since an accident can cause losses in more than one area of your life, your attorney will also look at factors like how much time you missed from your job and the pain and suffering you’ve endured because of the accident.
The sooner you meet with an auto accident law firm, the better off you will be in your case. Your attorney will be able to support and help you throughout the process and handle the insurance companies involved so you can focus on your recovery instead. Waiting too long to start your claim could make it more difficult–or even impossible–to receive compensation for your losses, so don’t hesitate to reach out as soon as you can about your case.