When you’re injured in an auto accident, the consequences can include severe injuries, long-term disabilities, and crushing medical debt. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to work or enjoying your usual activities. You may feel angry and frustrated when you’ve suffered serious injuries because of someone else’s disregard for safety.

You deserve accountability and justice from those responsible for your injuries and losses. You may hold the at-fault motorist accountable by pursuing a car accident claim to seek just compensation. Understanding the car accident claim timeline can help you know what to expect at each stage of the car accident claim process. The timeline involves a number of steps outlined below.

If you’ve suffered injuries in an automobile accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you deserve What’s Right. Our firm’s Las Vegas car accident lawyers can guide you through the auto accident claims process and fight for a full financial recovery for you. We take the time to understand how your injuries have affected your life and ensure you get the treatment you need to put your life back on track. We’ve built a reputation for fighting for What’s Right for our clients. Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free case review.

timeline of a car accident claim

Understanding Auto Accident Claims

By filing a car accident claim, you can seek compensation for the financial losses and expenses you incurred due to an auto accident, including medical expenses, car repair costs, lost income, physical pain, and emotional suffering. The claims process includes an investigation to gather evidence, submittal of an insurance claim, and filing a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company disputes the claim. When insurers refuse to agree to a fair settlement, you may need to take your car accident claim to court to demand justice.

Although you may want to focus on your physical and emotional health after a car accident, you must act quickly to preserve your legal options for pursuing compensation. A prompt investigation after an accident allows you to gather evidence, such as accident scene vehicle photos or eyewitness testimony.

Immediate Steps After an Auto Accident

Immediately after an auto accident, you should focus on protecting your health and gathering critical evidence from the crash scene. When you’ve been in an accident, you should call 911, report the accident, and request an ambulance if anyone needs emergency medical treatment. Other steps to take after an auto accident include:

  • Make sure the law enforcement officer who responds to the accident gives you his badge number and provides information about obtaining a copy of the accident report.
  • Exchange license, vehicle registration, and insurance information with each driver involved in the accident.
  • Gather contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident.
  • Use your cell phone to take photos or videos of the crash scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, traffic signs/signals, visual perspectives of the drivers, and weather and road conditions.

If you don’t require emergency treatment, seek prompt medical attention to have a doctor diagnose any injuries you may have sustained in the crash. Diagnosing your injuries right after a car crash will strengthen your injury claim since you will have documentation linking your injuries to the accident. If you wait to seek medical attention, the other driver or insurance company may try to argue that your injuries resulted from a pre-existing condition or another accident.

In the days following the crash, remember to request a copy of the police accident report. Police accident reports often serve as critical evidence in car accident claims since law enforcement officers have training in investigating auto accidents and provide a neutral perspective on the evidence.

Even though your primary contact with most of your friends and family is social media, refrain from mentioning anything about the accident in any post. Ask your friends not to post about it, either. The insurance company can look at any pictures or information you post and attempt to use it to downplay your injuries and compensation.

Choosing the Right Legal Assistance

After getting into a car accident, you should have a Las Vegas injury lawyer review the accident and help you assess whether you have a valid car accident claim. A car accident attorney can investigate the contributing factors to the accident and develop your case, allowing you to focus on medical treatment and rehabilitation. You should choose a lawyer with extensive experience in auto accident injury claims. An experienced lawyer will know how to handle insurance companies who try to delay or deny car accident claims.

At Sam & Ash Injury Law, our car accident lawyers provide personalized legal representation. Every client deserves a legal strategy tailored to their case’s unique circumstances, needs, and goals. Our dedication to our clients’ health has allowed us to recover over $400 million for thousands of clients.

Initiating Your Auto Accident Claim

Once you and your attorney have collected evidence from the car accident, your lawyer can prepare a claim to submit to the appropriate insurance company. Your attorney will submit a claim to the insurance company representing the at-fault driver. In some cases, multiple drivers may share responsibility for the accident, and more than one insurance company may have liability. Filing an insurance claim with an attorney from Sam & Ash Injury Law can make the car accident claim process easier to navigate.

Insurance adjusters use many tactics to get car accident victims to accept settlements that are less than the fair value of the claims. Sam & Ash Injury Law will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Our firm will pursue compensation from the insurance company, fighting hard to recover money for your present and future expenses related to the accident.

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Investigating and Evidence Gathering

The attorneys of Sam & Ash Injury Law will thoroughly investigate your car accident. Our firm will gather critical evidence such as accident scene photos/videos, surveillance/traffic camera footage of the crash, police accident reports, and medical records. We will use this evidence to prove what happened in the accident, who caused it, and what injuries you sustained in the crash. Our attorneys work quickly to secure and preserve evidence before it is lost. As time passes after an accident, surveillance camera videotape gets deleted, and witnesses’ memories fade.

Negotiation and Settlement Process

Most car accident claims lead to a settlement with the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies. Maximizing compensation in an insurance claim usually requires developing a persuasive claim and conducting vigorous negotiations with the insurers. Insurers want to pay you as little money as possible to resolve a claim and may use tactics such as trying to shift the blame to the injured person filing the claim. The insurer may argue that you share some of the fault for the crash. We never back down when insurance companies try to offer you less than fair compensation for your losses.

Although we work to secure compensation for you as quickly as possible, our attorneys recognize that some cases cannot be settled. An insurance company may refuse to agree to a fair settlement. Sam & Ash Injury Law will be prepared to take your car accident case to court to demand the compensation you deserve. At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we fight for What’s Right for you.

Litigation and Court Proceedings

If litigation in your personal injury claim becomes necessary, a car accident claim lawyer with Sam & Ash Injury Law will file a lawsuit on your behalf after discussing the matter with you. Once both parties in a car accident lawsuit have filed their initial pleadings, they engage in the process known as discovery.

Discovery involves exchanging evidence and information and deposing witnesses to gather all available facts to present at trial. Parties may file motions for summary judgment to have the court decide the case when the undisputed facts compel a result.

If a car accident injury case does not settle, it will eventually reach trial, where the opposing sides can present their evidence, witnesses, and arguments to a jury or judge to decide.

Post-Settlement or Court Verdict

Once you’ve obtained compensation in a settlement or court judgment, your attorney will collect the award and disburse the funds after deducting legal fees and case expenses as outlined in your fee agreement with your lawyer. Your attorney can also assist you with resolving any medical or insurance liens on your settlement or judgment.

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Get Help from Sam & Ash Injury Law

The car accident claim timeline includes getting medical care, understanding your legal rights, retaining legal counsel, gathering evidence, filing insurance claims, settlement negotiations, and trial. Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation to get help filing a car accident claim. Let our car accident claims attorneys advocate for your rights to financial compensation after you’ve been injured by another party’s carelessness.

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