Legal Options for People Injured in a Car Accident

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Individuals injured in a car accident may need or be entitled to funds or other assistance to assist them in healing. Fortunately, there are options for these individuals to choose from when seeking to recover for their injuries.

Out of Court Options: Demands and Settlements

An injured party can send a demand letter or negotiate a settlement to be reimbursed for injuries suffered from an automobile accident. These options may take several months until payment is actually made, but are often cheaper and faster than filing a court case. A party can use these methods to seek compensation from their insurance company, the other party or the other party’s insurance company.

Seek Compensation from Their Insurance Company

If there was no other party involved in the auto accident an individual can seek recovery from their insurance company for their injuries. Most insurance companies include medical care in their contracts for coverage, but the amounts and events for which they will pay differ. Legally, however, the company is required to pay as stated in the contract between the company and customer.

Seek Compensation from the Other Party

An uninsured party or a party not wishing to involve his or her insurance company may be willing to pay out of their pocket to reimburse the injured party. Note, however, that these types of settlements can often be lower in amount and harder to collect than those given by an insurance company or in a courtroom.

Seek Compensation from the Other Party’s Insurance Company

In an auto accident involving two or more parties, an injured party can seek to recover for the costs of their injury from the other party’s insurance companies. This is true only in those accidents in which the party seeking reimbursement was not at fault, meaning that they were not responsible for or did not cause the accident. If several insurance companies are involved, they will split the amount of recovery amongst themselves so that it calculates to 100% of the amount due to the injured party.

Court Option: File a Lawsuit

A seriously injured party, a party that has been unable to recover through the previously discussed legal methods or a party seeking extensive pain and suffering or punitive damages may need to file a lawsuit to recover. Lawsuits can take a year or more to conclude, and even then may result in a settlement prior to the case ever actually being brought before a judge.

These options each come with drawbacks and benefits. Speaking with an attorney will help you better understand the options available to you and which may provide you the best result. An auto accident attorney can guide you through the recovery process.