You have a legal right to sue the person who is liable for your injuries, but the process can be long and drawn out. Often, people who are injured in an accident need money sooner than later to help cover the costs of hospital bills and other medical expenses. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you can seek compensation for your damages. The party at fault should be held responsible for paying for the damages caused by their actions.
Legal Proceedings Take Time and Might Delay your Settlement
You may seek to recover compensation in two ways: either file a claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. Both processes will entail some degree of time and delay. Some insurance companies attempt to exploit these delays to force you into an unfavorable settlement agreement. It is important to seek the consultation of an attorney when dealing with unscrupulous insurance agents.
If you file a lawsuit, you will likely have to participate in a series of hearings and other legal proceedings before reaching a settlement or progressing to trial. The legal process takes time and can delay your settlement. The assistance of an experienced attorney will help you move through the process efficiently and effectively, and stands a greater chance of achieving a more favorable outcome.
It May Take Up to Six Weeks or More
You may have to wait even after a settlement has been approved for your compensation claim because the process is complicated and time consuming and there may be several creditors in line for payment before you receive your share of compensation. The following entities commonly have a legal right to payment after a personal injury settlement is finalized:
- Deduction of medical and related treatment expenses:
Any insurance or lawsuit settlement for your injury will include a provision for reimbursement of medical expenses. You will be compensated for medical bills that are a result of the accident, which includes bills already paid, and estimated future medical costs. It is common for your health insurance provider to place a lien on part of your settlement to secure payment of services that have already been provided.
- Attorney fees and legal costs
An attorney’s services are typically offered on a “contingency fee” basis, which means they are deducted from the settlement or from a damages award after a favorable verdict in the rare event that the case proceeds to trial. Attorney fees and legal costs will be deducted from your settlement compensation in accordance with the fee agreement you have with your attorney. This will include court costs and filing fees. Your attorney or his/her staff will have told you about their charges or fees at the outset of representation, and you will have signed some form of contract. Fees will vary from case to case depending on its complexity.
- You’ll receive your victim compensation payout
After deducting bills and legal costs, you will receive your share of compensation. Your attorney will work with you and the court to determine how funds will be received after all accounting has been settled.
Steps to Be Followed:
- You will have to sign several documents and release forms to effectuate the settlement or verdict. An attorney can help you understand what these documents mean.
- After signing the documents, the insurance company will undergo its own internal process for payment.
- The money is typically first deposited into an escrow account that was set up by your attorney. This helps to ensure that the check clears and that all liens and legal fees have been settled before distributing your share.
- Finally, after several weeks of additional delay, you will receive your share of the settlement.
You should prepare yourself in advance for the inevitability of delay in receiving compensation for your personal injury claim, regardless of whether you file a claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. Personal injury cases can take anywhere from six months to a year or longer. It is important to remain patient and informed throughout the process. That is why it is crucial that the attorney you hire is experienced with dealing with personal injury cases and is readily available to discuss the process.
Keep Your Documents Ready
Ensure that you maintain records of all bills, relevant documents, and treatment records in a safe place that is readily accessible by you and your attorney. Proper documentation will help you to receive compensation as soon as possible. Without proper records, your claim is likely to be delayed, or worse, denied. A knowledgeable attorney will know what documents you need to maintain to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Car accidents can happen due to multiple reasons—distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not following traffic rules, bad weather, violating seat belt laws, and more. If another person’s negligence caused the crash and you are facing severe loss, connect with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer for immediate help.