Being involved in a crash is not only a traumatic experience, it can also be a financially devastating one. If you weren't at fault, you should not have to pay for medical expenses or car damage out of your own pocket. Furthermore, you should not have to struggle to make ends meet while you can't work.
Yet, insurance companies care more about cutting their own costs than ensuring that your crash-related damages are fully recovered. While the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for compensating you, they will do everything in their power to downplay or deny your claim. Any leverage they can use against you can hurt your chances of being compensated.
Why you should always consult with an attorney
You should never speak to the at-fault driver's insurance company under any circumstance. They will likely try to contact you by phone. If you speak to them, anything you tell them can hurt your claim. Moreover, all phone conversations with insurance companies are recorded.
That's why you should always speak with an experienced car accident lawyer first. During your initial consultation, your attorney will need to gather the facts. This includes a description of how your crash occurred, what injuries you sustained and if and when you saw a doctor.
Your attorney can then launch an investigation into your crash by:
- Hiring a crash reconstruction expert
- Speaking to witnesses
- Obtaining video footage from surveillance cameras and dashcams (note: this footage can be quickly recorded over or may not be available at all)
- Getting a subpoena for the at-fault driver's cellphone records to check for distracted driving
- Obtaining a copy of the police report
How much can I expect to get paid?
It can take some time to determine how much compensation you may be eligible for. This will require evaluating:
- Your current medical costs
- The amount of time you will need to take off from work
- The cost of repairing your car
- The cost of replacing property that was lost or damaged
- An estimated cost of future medical care or personal care if you sustained a long-term injury
- Compensation you may be entitled to for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional trauma or the inability to perform certain tasks
- Punitive damages to penalize the other driver if he or she behaved in a malicious or reckless manner
How long does it take to get paid?
Once your attorney has placed an accurate value on your claim, a fair settlement will need to be negotiated with the at-fault driver's insurance company. In most cases, an agreement can be reached.
If the insurance company doesn't agree to a settlement, then your attorney will file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can sometimes take years to reach a verdict. A case can become even more complex if the insurance company appeals a verdict.
That's why you need a strong legal advocate on your side who knows how the legal system works and how to deal with insurance companies. Look no further than Romanow Law Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our legal team is dedicated to helping crash victims and their families maximize their compensation and rebuild their lives.
If you were involved in a crash, contact us online to schedule your free legal consultation.