Car accidents can be expensive. In addition to needing your car repaired, you also might need medical care. If your injuries were serious, you might have missed work and lost out on income. It is not unusual for even a relatively minor fender bender to cost thousands of dollars.
If you were injured, you should get the at-fault driver’s insurer to pay you. You can submit a claim to the insurer without a lawyer’s help, but you must take the right steps. Below, we explain how to get money from a car accident without a lawyer.
Keep in mind that generally, settlements are significantly higher if a lawyer is on your side. You can file yourself, but car accident insurance claims are complex, especially if injuries are involved. You may also have to go to court, and in that case especially, it is in your best interest to be represented by a lawyer.
Note How Much Time You Have
Texas has a statute of limitations that gives you 2 years from the date of the crash to bring a claim. If you miss the deadline, an insurer will not negotiate with you. Take careful note of the amount of time you have left.
You probably won’t make a claim right away with the insurer. Instead, you will wait until you reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you can’t get any better, and the full extent of your losses will be known. Of course, even if you are recovering slowly, you need to get a claim in before the statute of limitations expires.
Collect Important Documents
The at-fault driver’s insurer needs certain information from you before they can agree to a settlement. You should pull together the following:
- Medical records that show the full extent of your injuries.
- Medical bills and receipts for prescription drugs or medical equipment. These bills help show how much your care costs. Even if you used your health insurance to pay, you should submit the full amount of all your medical bills.
- A copy of the crash report. You should have called the police to come out to the accident scene.
- Evidence of missed work. You can receive compensation, even if you used sick or vacation days to recover from your injuries.
- Bills for repairs to your vehicle or other damaged property.
- Pictures of the accident scene, including pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash. These pictures help “set the scene” for the insurance adjuster to understand what happened.
Submit a Demand Letter
You should add up the amount of money the accident cost you. These are your economic losses, and you should expect to receive 100%.
Also remember to include money for any pain and suffering or emotional distress. Submit your evidence and a demand to the insurer. They might immediately reject your offer and make a lower counteroffer. You will need to negotiate until you hit a number that works for you.
Of course, many people do not know how much to request. In particular, they do not properly value their pain and suffering or other intangible losses.
This is where Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys can be helpful. Based on our experience, we can properly value your injuries and then negotiate a tough but fair settlement for your injuries. Please contact our Houston car accident lawyers today to get started. We offer a free consultation.