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How Does a Car Accident Settlement Work?

Black car with steam all around it. the car is damaged in the front and next to a flipped over car.

Have you been in a car accident that’s resulted in injury or damages in Cody, Wyoming? You are entitled to compensation. Speak to an automobile accident lawyer at Ochs Law Firm in Cody, Wyoming.

How Can an Automobile Accident Lawyer in Cody, Wyoming Help You?

A car accident is never fun. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may have to deal with injuries you’ve received from it, missing work because of these injuries, and figuring out what to do about your damaged car.

If you are hurt in a car accident and you’ve experienced property damage from it, it’s your right to seek compensation for it. Seeking out a car accident settlement from an automobile accident lawyer will help you get the money you need to cover any medical expenses, repairs for the damage your vehicle might have received, and cover any wage losses you may have from missing work. Here, we’ll discuss how a car accident settlement works and what you can expect from the process.

What Happens During the Settlement Process?

If you are seeking a settlement after your car accident in Cody, Wyoming to help cover any financial burdens you may have incurred from it, then the first step is to seek out a qualified and passionate lawyer, like Jason E. Ochs. Jason and his team will help your settlement process be a smooth and effective one.

Since every individual is different, your settlement process may not look the same as someone else’s. However, most settlements will follow the same general steps.

Filing a Claim

The first thing that will happen during your settlement process is that you’ll file a claim. If the other driver is responsible for your damages and injuries, then you’re entitled to file a claim and get compensation for the accident. Usually, the insurer of the at-fault driver is the one who will be paying for any damages.

If you are going to be filing a claim, you’ll need to let the insurer know that you’ll be doing this as soon as possible. Some of the damages that you can file a claim for include things like medical expenses, loss of wages from having to miss work, disability benefits, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other things.

Accident Investigation

The step in the process is investigating the accident. Once you’ve filed your claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver, the insurer will begin investigating the accident by assigning someone called an insurance claim adjuster to the case. This is a point in the process where you’ll want to be particularly wary.

Be careful when speaking to the adjuster. Don’t give any statements and don’t sign anything until you’ve spoken to a car accident lawyer. These adjusters want to pay as little as possible, and they will try and find ways to deny your claim. You and your automobile accident lawyer may also perform your own investigation at this time.

Approving or Denying the Claim

After the insurer is done investigating, you’ll be notified as to whether they have approved or denied your claim. If your claim is denied, this is often because there were mistakes in the claim, or because the insurer doesn’t cover what happened in your accident in their policy. You should always be provided with an explanation as to why your claim was denied. If you are not provided a reason, make sure to get one and speak to your automobile accident lawyer.

On the other hand, if your claim is approved, then that means the insurer has agreed to the claim as the damages are covered by their policy. However, that may not mean that they’re agreeing to what you and your lawyer might consider fair compensation.

Getting a Fair Settlement

The initial settlement that you get from the insurer might be quite low. The insurer will likely be reluctant to pay for the full amount you’re asking for. One thing that’s important for you to remember is that you do not need to accept this settlement. If you feel that the amount is too low, you have the right to get an amount that you feel you deserve.

Your automobile accident lawyer will help you at this stage in the process. Insurers will be very familiar with personal injury law and will do what they can to have to pay you as little as possible. Your lawyer will know how to deal with the insurer and help you get a fair settlement. Most of the time, your lawyer will be successful. However, there are some cases where the insurer might refuse to offer a fair settlement.

What Happens If the Insurer Doesn’t Agree to the Settlement?

While most of the time insurers will agree to the settlement, sometimes that’s not the case. Don’t worry, if this happens to you, you still have options. Here are a few courses of action that you and your lawyer may decide to take.

A Mediation Meeting

The first thing that you’ll do is attend a mediation meeting. A mediator, an unbiased third party, will listen to yourself as well as representatives from the insurance company.

The goal of this meeting is for the mediator to listen to both sides and help both of you come to an agreement. If you can reach an agreement, then your settlement amount will be finalized. However, if you do not reach an agreement, your lawyer might recommend another course of action.

A Lawsuit

If you’re not able to reach an agreement even with the help of a mediator, then your lawyer might bring your case to court. The decision to file a lawsuit is a big one. You and your lawyer will go over the pros and cons of taking your specific case to court to make sure that this is the right decision for you. While filing a lawsuit can be a costly and time-consuming business, sometimes it’s the right call if your settlement has been wrongly denied.

If you and your lawyer decide this is the right call for you, a trial date will be set. At any point before your trial date, you and the at-fault driver’s insurer can agree to a settlement. If your trial date arrives and you still have not reached an agreement, a jury will listen to both sides and determine if you should receive financial compensation.

How Do I Get the Money from the Settlement?

Most of the time, when you receive payment from your settlement, the insurer will issue a check. This check will be made out to your personal injury lawyer, who will take a percentage of the money as their fee before providing you with the rest.

However, if you had to go to trial, then you may receive your money in a different manner. If this is the case, your car accident lawyer will help you make sure you get your payment.

Speak to a Professional

Getting into a car accident brings a lot of baggage, not the least of which is trying to get a car accident settlement. If you’re looking to be compensated for the damages and injuries you’ve experienced, our team is ready to help. Get in touch with Ochs Law Firm in Cody, Wyoming today to learn more.

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Our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer, Jason E. Ochs will fight to help you recover proper compensation in a class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states. Contact us today.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.