A few seconds of chaos, confusion and impact can lead to days, weeks or months of hospitalizations, physical rehabilitation and missed work. Those few seconds will affect your life for at least the near future and possibly beyond.
In order to get you through this process, you probably need some financial assistance. Like most people, you may turn to the insurance company of the other driver if he or she caused the accident. The claims process can cause a significant amount of frustration and stress, but fortunately, you can seek out the appropriate support to help you through the process.
The first steps
Understanding an insurance policy may feel like reading a foreign language, but it’s the first step in pursuing the compensation you deserve after an accident. After you complete this step, you will need to move on to the next steps, which include the following:
- Determine what you believe your claim is worth
- Send a demand letter to the insurance company
- Review the company’s first offer
More than likely, the insurance company’s offer will feel like an insult. It will probably be far less than you need and asked for in your claim. You may be tempted to accept the offer in order to put an end to whole matter, but that may not be in your best interests. If you are lucky, the first offer will cover the financial losses you already have, but it may not. It probably doesn’t address any potential medical or other expenses you may incur in the future.
The next steps
Now the real work begins. You may attempt to negotiate a better settlement with the insurance company, but you need to understand that it will be more of a marathon than a sprint. Keeping track of your communications with the insurance company is a crucial part of the process. Over time, your claim could change hands, which could create additional delays.
You have certain rights when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. The company’s employees must deal with you in good faith. They must follow certain guidelines and rules in their dealings with you.
The final steps
Once you reach the point where you believe you have received a good offer from the insurance company, you may decide to accept it and move on with your life. If you can’t reach an agreement, you may consider filing a lawsuit in order to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Before doing so, you will need to determine whether the cost, time and effort of litigation are worth it. In order to make that choice, you may need some help. Fortunately, legal resources here in Virginia are available to help you.