Take The Fastest Route To Personal Injury Compensation
Becoming the victim of a careless driver is not something someone can easily prepare for. Once it happens, accident victims can become confused about the many conflicting actions available to them. Though things can seem chaotic at first, you will eventually begin to feel strong enough to consider taking legal action against the driver that hit you. To help you preserve your rights, be sure to follow these two extremely important bits of advice:
- Don't accept a settlement from an insurance company without consulting with an auto accident attorney.
- Don't speak to the accident adjuster for the other guy's insurance company without speaking to a personal injury first.
Your case depends on your actions after an accident and there are at least four routes to compensation available to most auto accident victims: accept the insurance compensation, take the case to small claims court, settle out of court, or file a lawsuit and take them to court. Read on for an exploration of all four choices.
If at least one party is covered by insurance, you are likely to have at least the minimum amount of coverage for your medical expenses and damaged car available to you. Unfortunately, the insurance company won't be paying for your lost wages or pain and suffering. That's only available using the other options.
Small Claims Court
As the name suggests, there is a limit to the maximum award using this means of compensation. The actual dollar limit varies by the state but in no case does it exceed $25,000. If your claim is lower what is allowed in your state, seeking damages in this manner has its advantages. Small claim cases can usually be managed without legal representation and can be resolved faster than filing a lawsuit. The worst thing about the small claims option, however, is that some accident victims have no idea what they are entitled to receive using other means.
Ask for a Settlement
Once you meet with an attorney and find out how valuable your case might be, your attorney will demand a settlement that covers all of your losses. Settlements are the same thing as settling outside of court and they can happen in a matter of weeks. They go beyond small claims court in money damages and beyond what the insurance company will pay in terms of covering all losses. In most cases, this is the best option to pursue.
File a Lawsuit
If you and your personal injury attorney are unable to reach an agreement with the other party on a settlement, a suit may be filed in court. There are no advantages of a lawsuit over a settlement. Court cases are not just more expensive but take longer to be resolved. They should only be used when the dollar amount of compensation in jeopardy is substantial, when the suit is against deep pockets, or when you have no other options. Speak to an attorney to find out more.