Navigating Albany Car Accident Claims: Step by Step Guide

One of the biggest worries for car accident victims is that their claim will take a long time to settle. In the meantime, they have medical bills to pay and they know that any delay would have a negative effect on their credit score. They ask their Albany car accident lawyer to speed up the process as much as they can. However, being in a hurry is not a good idea in a car accident claim.

Let us explain every step in the process and justify why you need to be patient.

1. In the Immediate Aftermath of the Accident

In order to protect your legal rights to seek compensation, you must do the following:

  • Report the accident to the police
  • Gather evidence at the car scene
  • Exchange insurance information with the other driver
  • Go to the nearest hospital for treatment as soon as the police officers finish investigating the crash scene

These steps ensure that you can prove the other driver’s fault and the fact that the car crash caused your injuries. As soon as you are released from hospital, you should hire an attorney to start preparing your claim.

2. Collecting More Evidence and Calculating Damages

After the lawyer accepts your case, they will continue looking for evidence in order to put together a strong claim. At the same time, the attorney will keep in contact with your treating physician to know when you reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the moment when no further treatments are expected to make a difference to your condition.

Lawyers start evaluating damages in a car accident claim only after MMI. This is the moment when they can add up:

  • Present and future medical care costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Costs with nursing care or assistive devices (if the accident leaves you with a disability)
  • Non-economic damages for pain and suffering

Depending on the severity of your injury, this process takes between a few weeks and several months.

evaluating damages after a car accident takes time

3. Preparing the Demand Letter

After they have a clear image of the circumstances of the crash and of your damages, your Albany car accident lawyer will prepare the demand letter. This is the official document that opens the claim.

It contains:

  • The identification data of you and the other driver
  • Date and place where the accident happened
  • Your statement concern accident
  • A description of your injuries
  • The amount of money you demand as compensation for your damages

The attorney will attach copies of all relevant bills and receipts to the letter of demand and send it to the insurance company.

4. The Insurer’s Response and Review

Once they receive the letter of demand, the insurance company has 15 days to file your claim. After they file the claim, they have 15 more days to analyze it and accept or deny it.

If the insurance company denies the claim, your lawyer may try to appeal this decision or advise you to file a lawsuit.

If the insurer accepts the claim, they will respond with a counter-offer, which is significantly less than the amount you demand.

5. Negotiations and Payment

Once the insurance company sends their counter-offer, your lawyers will start negotiations with the adjuster. These negotiations can take several weeks or more, depending on the amount you demand and the complexity of the case.

However, the attorney will keep in mind the statute of limitations (2 years after the date of your accident) and stop negotiations on time if they prove fruitless. Instead of wasting valuable time, they will focus on building your case for court.

In most of the cases, insurance companies agree to settle. Once they reach an agreement with your attorney, they have 10 days to send you the check.

Let an Experienced Albany Car Accident Lawyer Negotiate Your Claim!

With patience and an experienced Albany car accident lawyer at Joe Durham Jr., P.C you will get the fair compensation you deserve. But you must remember to follow all the rules after an accident and consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us at 229-210-6226!

Read More Related Articles

In an Accident?

Don't Hesitate, Contact Us Today!

Joe Durham Jr., P.C. is a highly experienced personal injury attorney, dedicated to ensuring his clients get the compensation they deserve. When you need help, he's got your back!