What Happens After the Accident?
Whatever incident caused your injuries, you’re naturally going to be anxious and somewhat impatient about finally getting compensated. A lot of people are involved: the person who caused the injury (the “tortfeasor” in legal circles; we’ll call him “the insured” here), the company insuring that person (or corporation, or agency or the like), your Seattle personal injury lawyer and, often, your own insurer. It often seems like nothing much is going on, but it is. Here’s a brief rundown on what is likely going on behind the scenes as you wait to be compensated.
Initial Period of Investigation
Once the initial notifications were made, it is up to the insured’s insurance company to investigate what happened and whether it and/or the insured is legally responsible for compensating you. Most people assume that if the insured is liable, his insurer is, too, but as any experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer will tell you. That isn’t necessarily so. The insurance policy will have exceptions and limitations.
The insurer will contact its insured (the insured) and any witnesses, and a claims adjuster will compile the various testimony and reports into a claim file. Your own lawyer is doing the same for your testimony and that of the witnesses.
In most cases, after the initial interviews, the insured is probably going on with his normal life, maybe a little nervous, but hoping that the case will simply be settled by the insurance company with no further need for them to be involved.
At this point, the insurance company and your lawyer will see if they can settle the case without going to court. If you are brave and/or foolish enough to have proceeded without a lawyer, of course, you are the one handling the negotiations with the insurer. You will be informed of each settlement offer from the insurer, but the insured won’t—the only time the insurer needs to get the insured’s approval is when the insured will have to personally kick in part of the money because the amount of the settlement is higher than the insurance policy limits.
If There Is No Settlement
If the insurer and your Seattle personal injury lawyer fail to reach a settlement, the case starts its way toward a court room. At that point, the insured is again contacted by the insurer, and the insurer hires a lawyer to defend and represent the insured. The insured himself is contractually bound to cooperate with the insurer’s lawyer.
Don’t Go Through It Alone
It isn’t a process for the untrained or the faint of heart, but it can eventually result in your receiving compensation. The earlier you get a Seattle personal injury lawyer involved, the easier your life will be. Call Travis Eller today at (206) 801-1188.