Getting injured in an accident can be very painful and very expensive. You want to get better and have your bills paid as soon as possible. Unfortunately, getting a settlement in a personal injury case can take a very long time. When you have an accident, it is very important to document your expenses and medical treatment. This way, everything will go smoothly and quickly. Always call the police and wait for an officer to arrive at the scene of the accident. Get the names of any witnesses and take pictures if you can.
You will want to see your doctor after an accident even if you feel just fine. You should save every medical bill you have and save the receipts from every drug you take, whether prescription or non-prescription. Make sure to have your employer write you a letter stating the number of hours that you have lost from work and the amount of money you have lost as a result. It is impossible to predict the exact number of days from your accident that you will receive compensation because every case is a little bit different. However, there are some basic timetables and laws of which you should be aware.
You should call your insurance company as soon as you can to report the accident. Once you have turned in your paperwork and made a claim, an insurance company in Pennsylvania will have ten business days to acknowledge that claim. The company will have 15 business days to decide whether to accept or deny your claim. If they deny you, you should contact your personal injury attorney right away to find out if they think you would have a legal case against the insurer. If they accept your claim, they will make you a settlement offer. You should always talk to an attorney before you accept any settlement from an insurance company.
An insurance adjuster’s job is to keep the company’s money in-house; hence, they are unlikely to offer you a fair settlement. Professional personal injury lawyers will be able to tell you if a settlement offer is fair. They will also be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay them if they are unsuccessful. It can take a few weeks to a few months for an attorney to negotiate a settlement. Once you agree upon an amount, it will probably take around 30 days to get your money.
You may want to consider suing if the insurance company denies your claim altogether or you cannot reach a settlement amount. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are two types of insurance rules in the United States, fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying the bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s insurance company will pay for the bills no matter who caused the accident.
Pennsylvania is unique in that you may choose either fault or no-fault insurance. If you have no-fault insurance, certain circumstances must exist for you to file a lawsuit. Your injuries must be very severe, disfiguring, or permanent in order to sue. Once you have filed a suit, it will take about 30 days to get a court date. After that, it can take months or even years for a personal injury case to get settled. Your attorney will continue to negotiate with the defendant before your case goes to trial.
As a general rule, the sooner you file a claim, hire a lawyer, and present an insurance company with all of the documentation you have, the sooner you will get compensation for your injuries and damage to your property. An accident can be devastating, which is why receiving a good settlement can help you move on with your life.