How To Be Paid After An Accident: Three Choices
If you have been hurt by another person, such as in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. There is more than one way to get paid and it's important to use the most appropriate method for your circumstances. Read on to find out more.
Take What the Insurer Offers
Some vehicle accidents can be easily settled by filing a claim and taking a settlement. Be sure, though, that you are paid what you deserve. This way of being paid can leave out some valuable forms of damage. An insurance settlement may work best for those who had no injuries and only some vehicle damage. If you have injuries and other associated damages like lost wages and more, move on to the next level of payment choices. Here's a tip when making an insurance claim: Don't agree to speak to the other driver's insurance adjuster. You don't have to, and it should not affect your compensation.
File a Small Claims Case
You can often represent yourself in small claims court if the amount you ask to be paid falls under the limits. Though probably not as amusing as seen on television, small claims court is an easy way to have your case heard by a judge, and it's often faster than filing a personal injury case. Compare your state's small claims court limits with your damages to determine the appropriateness of filing a case. Here's a tip on the small claims angle: If you are not sure how much you are owed, speak to a personal injury lawyer before you do anything else.
Take Legal Action
When you are unable to get the insurer to pay you what you deserve and your damages exceed small claims court limits, speak to a personal injury lawyer. Your case probably belongs in civil court if you were injured, your vehicle was badly damaged, you lost time from work, and you expect to have additional medical expenses in the future. You may not necessarily have to take the process all the way to court to be paid what you deserve, though. Your personal injury lawyer will summarize your damages and demand that the at-fault driver's insurer pays you what you are owed. Only if they won't pay will you need to take them to court.
It's vital that you bring a lawyer on board for advice lest you get stuck with less than you deserve. For the civil court case, you stand to gain a lot more money, but you will need a personal injury lawyer to help you. Speak to a lawyer at a firm such as Siben & Siben LLP about your chances.