Being in a car accident can be one of the more traumatic experiences a person will ever endure in his or her lifetime.
Whether a rear-end accident or a catastrophic accident, immediately afterward you will have questions regarding your rights and options. It is best to speak with a car accident attorney regarding your case, especially if you did not cause the accident. After all, an attorney can better determine if your case qualifies for compensation and your options based on your state’s laws.
Common FAQs Regarding Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you were involved in an accident, you may have already scheduled a consultation with an attorney. While you wait for your appointment, here are a few common questions and answers to review:
- Am I required to provide the insurance company with a written or recorded statement? Insurance claims’ adjusters may contact you requesting a written or recorded statement. While you are required to give them details about the accident, you have the right to consult with an attorney before giving any official statements to the insurance company.
- Can I collect for pain and suffering? Automobile accidents that result in injuries will typically include pain and suffering damages, which are for your physical pain, suffering, discomfort, and any limitations created by the accident. Minor injuries may not have as high of a pain and suffering reward as those that are considered permanent.
- What is the statute of limitations for filing my car accident lawsuit? Per Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080, the statute of limitations in the state is three years. Therefore, you have three years from the date of the injury to file. However, it is in your best interest to file your lawsuit much sooner than this date, especially to preserve evidence.
- My car has negative equity, can I sue for the remaining balance? Typically, insurance companies pay the fair market value of a vehicle when totaled in an accident. Therefore, if you owe more than fair market value – which is common if the vehicle is brand new or recently purchased – you will often owe money to the lender after the car is paid off. In your accident settlement, your attorney may seek damages to cover this excess, but do not count on insurance offering to pay for the negative equity.
- How are settlement amounts determined? There is no set formula to determine the proper amount for a car accident settlement. Instead, it is based on the costs associated with the accident, your injury’s severity, and the permanence of the injury. An attorney can better determine how much your claim will be worth based on your out-of-pocket expenses and type of injury.
- Do I need an attorney to file a claim with an insurance company? You are not required to hire an attorney, but it is in your best interest to do so. The cost of hiring an attorney upfront is free, and the attorney only collects his or her fee if they succeed in your case. Furthermore, with an attorney, you are more likely to receive a higher value settlement – and the compensation you deserve.
Speak with a Dedicated Injury Attorney in Washington Today
After a serious injury, you need an attorney ready to help you negotiate with the insurance company and receive the settlement you deserve for your injuries. To get started, speak with an attorney today. Schedule your free consultation at 800-925-1875 or request more information online.