Individuals who have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others can typically collect compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, repair bills and other costs associated with the collision. The settlement amount can vary depending on a number of factors, including the degree of fault assessed to each party, the damage done to the vehicles, the injuries sustained in the crash and the estimated pain and suffering caused by the experience.
Determining who is at fault in a particular accident may be simple; for example, two-car rear-end collisions are generally considered to be the responsibility of the driver at the back. Assigning blame in other instances can be more challenging. If the police were called to the site of the accident, the police report can often provide added information regarding which driver was primarily or entirely at fault.
A settlement offer may be made by the insurer once fault has been determined. The accident victim can accept the offer or can present a counteroffer to the insurance adjuster. This negotiation process can take months and may require the help of an attorney to achieve a fair settlement for the case.
When an agreement in principle has been reached, attorneys for the insurance company or defendant may create a release that sets out the terms of the settlement, the amount due to the plaintiff and the way in which funds will be disbursed. That release must be signed by the accident victim and returned to the insurance firm to signify legal acceptance of its terms.
After a settlement offer has been made and accepted, the insurance company will typically deliver a settlement check in person or through the mail. The plaintiff’s attorney may handle any existing liens and might deliver the remainder of the settlement funds to the accident victim.
Those involved in an automobile accident should consult an attorney to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive a fair amount of compensation for their losses and injuries. Contacting an attorney might help a person pursue a positive outcome.