Get the Answers to Common Post-Auto Accident Questions
Posted in Car Accident on October 10, 2018
Were you or someone you love recently injured in an auto accident? If so, you probably have many questions about what you can expect over the coming days, weeks, and months.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers know that this is a difficult and confusing time in your life. You’re going through something that’s new and stressful, and you need answers and guidance while you recover and try to get back to work.
We’re here to help you through the legal process one step at a time. Our legal team knows what it takes to build strong and successful claims, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you get the money you need to move forward with your life. Get in touch with us today—call us at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online contact form.
8 Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions
Whether you’ve already contacted our attorneys or just need information about what you can expect after crash, the following questions and answers may be helpful for you:
- Should I go to the hospital even if I don’t think I’m seriously injured? Yes—being treated by a doctor or other healthcare professional as soon as possible after the crash is one of the most important things you can do. In addition to protecting your health and helping to prevent possible complications, it also creates a record of your injuries and helps prove they were caused by the crash. Plus, if you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company may be more skeptical of your injuries and their origin—and that can make it harder to get the money you deserve.
- How long do I have to file a claim? Tennessee’s statute of limitations for filing auto accident claims is one year after the day they occurred. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait that long. In fact, the sooner you call a lawyer, the better your chances will be of recovering compensation. That’s because evidence can quickly disappear after crashes and it can be more difficult to locate witnesses and even the other driver. The longer you wait to file a claim also means the longer you’ll go without the money you need. Acting right away decreases the delay between the time of the crash and the time you get your check.
- Do I need to contact my own auto insurance company after the crash? All auto insurance providers require that their customers notify them within a relatively short timeframe of any accidents they’re involved in. Even if the crash wasn’t your fault, you’re still required to report it to your insurance company. However, it’s important that you stick to the facts of what happened and never admit or suggest that you were at fault for the crash.
- Should I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer? Never accept any settlement offers without first speaking to an attorney. Insurance companies are in business to generate profits, and that often means they shortchange innocent victims like you. Even though you may need the money right now, accepting the first settlement offer that comes your way means you won’t able to pursue additional compensation in the future. And in most cases, first offers are rarely enough to pay for the medical bills and lost wages you’re facing now—let alone how much the crash will cost you in the future.
- How should I handle phone calls, emails, and letters from the insurance company? In the immediate aftermath of your accident, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a lot of attention from the other driver’s insurance company. Their adjusters will do everything they can to either reduce or deny your settlement, and they count on you wanting to end the process as soon as possible due to your injuries. However, with a lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about getting back to the insurance company. Instead, we’ll handle all communication for you.
- How much compensation can I get for the crash? No two car accidents alike, and no two car accident claims are alike, either. The amount of money you may be entitled to receive depends on multiple factors, such as:
- Your degree of liability—If it’s determined that you were partially at-fault for the crash, you may receive less money than if the other driver was fully liable for the accident.
- The severity of your injuries—Victims who suffer from debilitating and life-changing injuries such as paralysis, amputations, or brain injuries often receive more money than victims who suffer from injuries that aren’t as disabling or profound.
- Your current and future medical bills—After the crash, you may have racked up big medical bills between the ambulance ride, any surgeries you required, and overnight stays in the hospital. But those costs may be just the beginning, as you also may need physical therapy and future treatments.
- Your current and future lost wages—Your injuries may have put you out of work for the foreseeable future, but there’s a big difference between being unable to work for a month and being unable to work for a year or more. Having a lawyer on your side means the insurance company will know how your injuries will affect your wage-earning capacities.
- Why do I need a lawyer after an auto accident that wasn’t my fault? Although you can get compensation after a crash on your own, you may be limited to accepting the insurance company’s initial settlement offer. In addition, going it alone also exposes you to several common pitfalls that victims unknowingly make—and those pitfalls can jeopardize claims before they get off the ground. Finally, having a lawyer on your side means all your bases will be covered and you won’t have to worry about dealing with the insurance company or collecting evidence. While we work on your behalf, you can focus on getting better.
- Will I have to go to court? Most auto accident claims settle out of court. Having an attorney on your side greatly levels the playing field and makes the insurance company understand that you’re serious about getting compensation. Also, insurance companies know that experienced auto accident attorneys know the ins-and-outs of compensation claims, including how to prove the other driver’s liability and how to negotiate a fair settlement. Those factors combine to mean that most insurance companies prefer to settle out of court. However, in rare instances insurance companies refuse to pay—and that’s when we take claims to court.
Got additional questions or concerns about what to expect or do after your auto accident? Feel free to get in touch with our law office 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
And after we’ve taken on your claim, you can count on us to be here every step of the way to answer your questions and address your concerns. We’ll keep you up to date on our progress and make sure you know exactly what we’re doing to fight for your rights to maximum compensation.