How Can I Settle A Car Accident Claim?
Having a car accident may have been one of the worst experiences in your life, now it just got worse. Someone has filed a claim against you for the car accident. How are you going to settle the car accident claim?
The answer to this starts with a question. Do you have car insurance?
If you have insurance, take a deep breath, pick up the phone, and call your agent. Your auto insurance company is used to dealing with car accident claims and will probably take over and do the work for you. You may be called upon to do an affidavit, or to testify in court, but your insurance company will do most of the hard work behind the scenes, trying to settle the case out of court.
Does having car insurance guarantee you won’t have personal liability?
It reduces your risk by the amount of your policy but does not eliminate your liability. If the costs of medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other expenses exceed the limits of your insurance policy’s coverage, you are liable for the additional costs.
What if you don’t have insurance?
Then you are in a more difficult situation. Has the case already gone to court and you have been presented with a court order demanding restitution? Or, are you just now receiving a letter from an attorney who is informing you of their intent to take you to court to ask for settlement on a car accident claim?
If you have just been informed of a pending suit, it is time to speak to an attorney. You need professional advice. An attorney can inform you of your options, the costs of handling your case, and help you negotiate an out-of-court settlement if you are at fault.
Alcock auto accident attorney in Phoenix can also let you know if the other owner’s car insurance is responsible for covering the victim’s expenses, which may be true in states with no-fault insurance.
If you have already received a court order that the accuser has been awarded a settlement, you may still want to visit with an attorney. They can inform you of your right to appeal and how you need to pay the settlement.
If the case has not reached the courts, you may want to ask the accuser how much they are seeking and see if they will work with you privately to settle the case. This may require a substantial amount of money. A common car accident award will include payment for damages to property, all medical expenses, lost wages, and the total is often tripled to cover additional costs the accuser may have.
It is not recommended to pursue settling a case privately without consulting an attorney. You need to make sure the accuser signs documents agreeing you have paid for their damages in full, so they do not come back weeks, months, or years later seeking additional money.
As you can see, having car insurance is not really optional. The risks of the need to settle a car accident claim without insurance can be time-consuming and financially disastrous.