Car Accident Cases: The Initial Process
The weeks and months following a car crash can often leave you with serious injuries and anxiety that will require extensive medical care. You may also experience pain and suffering, emotional trauma, financial stress and work loss.
Many steps arise when you file a claim for the recovery of benefits. It may occur that even though you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, your insurance company may still fight you.
The professionally trained staff of attorneys at Fieger Law can handle all aspects of your insurance claims, both with your insurance company as well as the defendant’s. We know this can be a troubling time for you and it is our mission to let you focus on your recovery while we focus on the fighting the insurance companies.
Call Fieger Law today if you need legal advice: (800) 294-6637.
Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
After the crash, you should contact your insurance company to begin filing a claim. Of course, you want to make sure you have the right information to submit to your provider, including the other driver’s license, contact information, insurance policy, and anything else you may have gathered from the scene, such a photos or the police report.
Because Michigan is a No-Fault state, you will always report the crash to your insurance provider. If your damages were more than can be covered by your own insurance, that is when you will want to call your attorney. They will be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver for your pain and suffering.
The Insurance Company May Deny Your Claim
Your insurance company may try to deny your claim by saying you:
- Suffered injuries outside the coverage
- Were at fault for the accident
- Have pre-existing injuries and cannot file a valid claim
It’s essential to recognize the tactics the insurance company may try to use against you. It’s vital to have an attorney if the insurance company wrongfully denies your claim. They will be able to fight for the justice you deserve far better than you could on your own.
You May File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Denial
After a denial, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. You can pursue legal action to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Working with a lawyer can help you file the correct paperwork in a manner that meets the deadlines set forth by Michigan’s statute of limitations. Once you file the paperwork, the insurance company will receive notification of the lawsuit. Though the insurance company will have the opportunity to file a motion to dismiss your claim, if you have done your homework and hired the right attorney, it will not be easy for a judge to dismiss it.
The Insurance Company’s Motion to Dismiss
The motion to dismiss is the insurance company’s way of trying to get out of any legal action you may file. When the judge receives this motion, they can make one of two decisions. Either, accept the motion and end your case before it even begins, or deny it and allow you to move forward.
If the judge allows your case to continue, it’s vital to ensure you have all evidence necessary to prove that you suffered an injury because of the defendant’s negligence. Evidence is crucial in the next step of the process.
Providing Evidence in the Discovery Phase
The discovery phase of a car accident case has multiple aspects that you must consider. Your legal team, as well as the representative of the defendant, will be able to utilize four types of discovery as a method of strengthening their case and providing vital information regarding the crash.
- Interrogatories: In this process, both sides can ask questions of the other party. Your attorney will reach out to the defendant’s representatives to gather information on your behalf.
- Production of Documents: Your legal team can put in a request for the defendant to produce documents associated with the crash. Similarly, the other party can ask you and your team for documents, including medical records, pictures you may have taken at the site, and your evidence of injury.
- Admission of Facts: Because a trial can be time-consuming and costly, both sides may request an admission of facts during discovery. You may request that the defendant admit specific facts which can be used by your legal team during trial.
- Depositions: This process is done with a court reporter present. Each party can ask questions to the opposing party and witnesses who can attest to the causation of the accident. In this process, much of the testimony can be used to negotiate a potential settlement or strengthen a case.
Potential Settlement Offer
Discovery allows for the release of significant information, which often leads to settlement negotiations rather than trial. If you and your legal team can present enough evidence to show that the defendant was truly at fault for the accident, you may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company.
Be aware, this settlement offer is not always what it seems. Because insurance companies would like to avoid the cost of a trial, they’re often willing to settle; however, this offer may be much less than you need.
Never accept a settlement without consulting your lawyer. You should understand the potential value of your case and work with someone who can negotiate on your behalf. While some settlement offers may be adequate enough to cover your damages, the proposed amount may not cover all of your damages.
Moving Forward to Trial
If you and your legal team deny the settlement offer, you may receive another. However, if you and your team decide that trial is the best option for your case, you can deny a settlement. In many situations, you may be able to recover more by showing a jury of your peers that the negligent party was responsible for your injuries.
In a court setting, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. This compensation can help you cover medical expenses, wages you may not have earned while missing work, and long-term care costs.
At Fieger Law, we stay trial-ready and prepared to take on the large insurance companies. However, our focus is on helping you walk away with the maximum compensation possible while protecting you from a strenuous car accident lawsuit and providing the tenacious representation needed to obtain justice for you.
Our Michigan car accident attorneys have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies who are often looking to limit their payments to claimants. When we handle your case, know that we’re dedicated to going the extra mile because your rights and future depend on it.
Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 and discuss your legal options with a professional. We’re ready to help you. We offer free consultations so you can get answers quickly without additional financial concerns.