Florida personal injury trial lawyer discusses the 3 steps process of settling a car accident claim.
Making a claim for a Florida car accident is foreign to many injured folks. They have a lot of misconceptions and receive misinformation from friends, family members and co-workers. As a general rule, there is no way to short step the settlement process. In my view, the car accident settlement process is a three step process. Almost all cases go through the same process.
Step 1 – Appropriate Medical Care and Treatment
The most important step for the injured person is to get checked out by the appropriate doctors. The goal of any client should be to have their injuries treated so they are back to where they were before the accident. For some people this goal can be reached, other people have residual problems. The value of a Florida car accident case depends on the nature and extent of the individual's injuries.
I can't tell you how many times I receive a call from a client a month after the accident asking how come the case is not settled. I explain to them for the third or fourth time that they have to complete their medical treatment before we can begin the settlement process. Once the injured person's doctor tells them they are as good as they're going to get – legally “a point of maximum medical improvement”, we are able to move to the second step.
Step 2 – Updating All Medical Documentation and Preparing the Demand
Once the injured person's condition is stationary or we have an idea of what future medical care will look like, we will go ahead and update all the medical records and bills. Once we receive this information, we will prepare a written demand to the insurance company. The demand is a written document that sets out our position regarding the accident, the nature and extent of the client's injuries, the client's treatment, future medical treatment that is needed, and how the accident has impacted the client's life. Click here to see an example car accident demand letter.
We will send the demand the insurance company with a time deadline for a response. The time deadline is usually 30 days.
Step 3 – Negotiation
Once the insurance company has reviewed the demand and supporting information, it will either request additional information or make an offer. Once the initial offer is received, we will send it to the client and discuss the insurance company's position. Most clients are shocked at how low the initial offer is even though we have explained the process. The initial offer is not the final offer. With the client's approval, we will continue to negotiate with the insurance company to determine the true settlement number. Once we get a final offer, we will discuss it with the client. It is always the client's decision to settle or not to settle a case.
If the client does not want to settle the case, the next step in the process is to file a lawsuit.
Florida car accident law is complex. If you have any questions about your Florida car accident case or the settlement process, call Dr. Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation box on the right.