A car crash can rob you of your physical and mental health, preventing you from working in the same capacity as before your accident. You may feel as though you need to take any settlement just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the responsible party’s insurance company will very likely try to get you to settle for an amount that’s far lower than what you’re entitled to. Knowing your settlement options can help you make the right decisions for your finances.
How Do You Obtain Compensation After an Accident?
After an accident, you will likely be offered a settlement by the other driver’s insurance company. This offer is rarely the best one you can get and is usually a much lower figure than you could obtain by filing a lawsuit against the other driver. However, there is a process you’ll want to follow in order to obtain the maximum settlement. Choosing the right time at which to file an insurance claim is key to this process.
When to File a Claim
The best time to file a claim after an accident is when you’ve made your maximum medical improvement (MMI), which may return your health below the level at which it was prior to the accident. Filing your claim at this time will demonstrate a concrete loss that can be used to evaluate the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled. Once you’ve established that you’ve made your maximum possible recovery, you’ll have an easier time obtaining compensation for the following expenses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
However, you won’t want to wait too long to file your claim, as it could expire in Louisiana if you don’t pursue it within one year after the accident. A Laborde Earles personal injury lawyer could help you pursue this process in order to obtain the maximum settlement after your accident.
Taking the Other Party to Court
If you’re unable to come to a settlement with the party responsible for your crash, you may wish to take them to court. This process can cause the opposing party to give in to your demands, as court cases can take a long time to pursue and are costly to the losing party. There will also be a more thorough examination of the available evidence around the accident, along with your own finances, work history, and the financial damages you’ve had to bear. An experienced personal injury lawyer can leverage this process to extract the greatest possible settlement from the opposing party or can pursue the case on your behalf in court to its conclusion.
Filing for Social Security After an Accident
In addition to seeking damages from the party which is at fault for your accident, you may also wish to file for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. If your accident was severe enough to prevent you from working in your past occupation and prevents you from being restrained, you may qualify for SSD. The process to obtain SSD benefits can take around 20 months, from first filing to first rejection, appeal, second rejection, and finally an in-person hearing to rule on your case. This makes it vital to obtain the greatest possible amount from the other party responsible for the accident.
A car accident can upend your life and leave you with a permanent disability as a result. This can impact your ability to be financially stable after the accident and leave you permanently depending on assistance for your livelihood. A personal injury attorney can help you to obtain the highest possible settlement or award to give you the best possible chance for financial security in the years to come.