After suffering serious injuries after a car accident, you may decide you should file a personal injury claim so you can be reimbursed for your medical expenses and pain. However, you may find yourself bombarded with advice from well-meaning friends that could be false. Below are four myths you may have heard about filing a personal injury claim after an auto accident.
Personal Injury Claims Can Be Filed Anytime after the Accident
One myth you may have been exposed to is the one that suggests you can file your claim any time after your accident. You may have been told that you can wait and see how your injuries will affect you in the long run. Or, you may have been told you should wait until your medical bills pile up so you can get more money during the settlement.
However, waiting too long can jeopardize your ability to file your claim. Each state has its own time frame during which you can file following an accident. Because the statute of limitations in each state is different, you should file your claim as soon as possible. An attorney can help you determine how much time you have in your particular state.
Other Driver's Insurance Automatically Pays Medical Expenses
Another tidbit of false information you may have heard is that the other driver's insurance will automatically start paying your medical expenses. In reality, the other insurance company is only going to reimburse these bills if and when the other driver is proven to be at fault and a settlement is reached.
Until your claim is fully processed, you may bear the brunt of your medical bills yourself. Or, if you have personal injury coverage on your own policy, your insurance company may cover the bills on the contingency that the other party's company will pay them back once a settlement is reached.
Claims Are Settled Quickly for Easy, Guaranteed Money
While some people may have told you that personal injury claims are settled quickly to give you fast, guaranteed money, this myth is far from the truth. It will take time for your claim to be fully processed. If the other person is found to be at fault for the accident, you may receive a settlement based on the severity of your injuries.
Until the claim is processed, you will most likely lose money while you wait. You may lose wages because you cannot work, and your medical bills will continue to rise.
The one exception to this case is if you settle right away with the insurance company. However, you should reconsider taking this action. The insurance company is only trying to make the claim go away quickly.
They will usually offer you the least amount of money possible that will hardly cover any of your expenses. Plus, if you agree to an early settlement, any bills accrued afterward are solely your responsibility.
Attorney Is Not Needed to Settle Your Claim
Some people may try to convince you that you can file the claim yourself and do not need the help of an attorney. While technically you can go through the claim process yourself, it will only make things more difficult for you.
When you have an attorney, they will help you navigate all of the legal jargon and processes involved when dealing with you and the other person's auto insurance companies. They can also negotiate the settlement amount to make sure you get every dime that you have coming to you.
If you are uncertain about what to believe about things you have heard regarding a personal injury claim after an auto accident, you should seek professional advice to help you separate fact from myth. Contact a personal injury lawyer, such as Jack W Hanemann, P.S., to schedule a consultation to learn more.Share