If you’ve been injured in a Philadelphia area auto accident, you’ve probably at least considered hiring a local personal injury lawyer. But do you know what to expect from the injury claims process? That process can resolve quickly, or it can drag on for several months, depending on the skill of your personal injury lawyer, the stubbornness of the insurance company, and your willingness to fight for, and compromise on, a fair settlement offer. Bucks County personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile Jr., of Cordisco & Saile LLC, details what to expect if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Before beginning the process of filing an injury claim, it is important to let go of your expectations about time and your settlement award. You may think your case will be settled quickly, but it is never really certain whether your case will end sooner or later. Also, you may think your injury deserves a large settlement, but the insurance company’s offers may never get close to the amount you expect. It is helpful to hire a personal injury lawyer so that he or she can guide you through the process and make it as painless as possible.
You should expect your initial meeting with your car accident lawyer to be lengthy; he/she will want to learn all of the specifics of your case that exist at that point, including:
- How your accident occured;
- The details of your injuries and the physical limitations you have,
- How much time you have missed from work,
- The names and addresses of your treating physician(s),
- The treatment you’ve received up to the point of your meeting,
- Results of any diagnostic testing you have had, and
- The ongoing treatment recommended by your doctor(s).
It is important to be completely honest with your lawyer at all times and to show up for all of your doctor appointments.
After taking time to completely understand the case and your injury, your lawyer will draft a demand letter, which will be sent to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After the demand letter is sent, you can expect to wait for some time to hear back from the insurance company. Many times, insurance companies purposely take their time in responding, in hopes that you will get frustrated and accept the first settlement offer they provide. Your lawyer will advise you on these matters and continue negotiating with the insurance company. When you receive an offer which you and your attorney believe is fair, it is your decision as to whether or not to accept it.
Settlement vs. Court Action
You should not automatically expect your personal injury claim to end up in court – most personal injury cases are resolved during the settlement process with the insurance company. In the off-chance that your attorney believes going to court and refusing a settlement will be worthwhile, you may find yourself in a court room, with your lawyer trying to prove your damages to a jury. Choosing to go to trial will prolong the process and will also cost you more money in legal fees.
If you’ve been injured in a Philadelphia area auto accident and would like to learn more about the personal injury claims process, contact the experienced Bucks County personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC. We offer a FREE consultation as well as a FREE download of our PA Car Accident Book.