Simply knowing what to expect from the car accident settlement process can help many people rest easier. While every case is different, most cases follow the steps below.
Free Initial Consultation & Sign-Up
After you have your free consultation regarding your case with car accident attorney David Brauns (set up your consultation by calling 404-418-8244 or fill out our contact form), we need you to sign a contract that makes us your lawyers. We can then start acting on your behalf, which includes getting a copy of the accident report, talking to adjusters, and getting you medical care if you are not already seeing a doctor.
Claims & Insurance Verified
Once we are officially your lawyers, we immediately put all possible insurance companies and people on notice that you have an injury claim. We begin gathering all the insurance information, including amounts of coverage, so that we can determine how much insurance money is available to cover your claim. This process is very important and only attorneys know the rules on how to “stack” multiple policies to give you a bigger amount of available insurance money. We also look for medical payments insurance to help pay for your medical treatment..
Right after you hire us as your lawyers, our team immediately begins obtaining all the evidence available on your claim. This can include:
- A copy of the accident report and other police documents
- Photographs of the damage to the cars
- Medical records and bills from anybody you have seen prior to hiring us
- Interviewing and getting statements from eyewitnesses
- Beginning to document your lost wages
We also monitor your injuries and medical treatment. This is part of the reason our policy is to talk to our clients at least once per week. We want to make sure you are improving week to week. We also want to make sure you are doing everything possible to document your medical evidence (e.g., injuries, pain and suffering) in the best way possible. If you do not heal after six to eight weeks, we will help you find qualified medical staff based on your symptoms and injuries. Do not worry about not having health insurance and struggling to pay your medical bills. We work with doctors all over Gwinnett County and Atlanta who will agree to treat you on an I.O.U.U.
Settlement Package Preparation
Once you finish medical treatment, or if you are at a point where the doctors can do no more for you, we will begin putting together your settlement package that we will use to negotiate with the insurance companies. We call and verify every bill or amount owed to each doctor or another party. Then, we write an extensive settlement letter that outlines your claim and all its evidence to the adjuster. Once we have verified all the numbers, we send the settlement package to the adjuster. We always call the adjuster five days after mailing it out to verify he has received it.
Insurance adjusters usually take 20-30 days to review your settlement package and make their first offer. Once we get their first offer, negotiations will move quickly. We will usually get the insurance company’s best offer in less than two days. David will call you after each offer to discuss it and what your counter-offer should be. You, the client, have to authorize each counter-offer made on your behalf.
Settlement or Litigation
Once David is able to get the absolute best offer out of the insurance company, you will receive the proposed settlement paperwork. These documents will state the adjuster’s best offer and then break down the proposed settlement into how you will receive the money. You review the numbers and then call David to discuss. If you agree to the offer, then you will sign and return a Release. It will then take the adjuster about five to seven days to send out the check, which we then deposit into our trust account and wait for it to clear. Once it clears, we are required to pay anyone who treated you on an I.O.U. or any government or business entity that may be entitled to reimbursement. Of course, we will negotiate with each to try to lower the amount you will have to pay them.
If you decide not to accept the insurance company’s top offer, then you and David will discuss filing a lawsuit. The entire litigation process can take over a year to complete.
You can start this car accident settlement process now by calling Brauns Law in Gwinnett County at 404-418-8244 to schedule a free consultation with David.