How Does A Car Accident Settlement Work?

Experiencing a car accident can be distressing, and the subsequent settlement process can often seem like a labyrinth. If you find yourself in a car accident in Charlotte, having a clear understanding of the settlement process can help you steer through this difficult period. Here’s an in-depth look at the process of a car accident settlement in North Carolina.

Accident Reporting

In North Carolina, it’s mandatory to report any car accident that results in an injury or death, or where the property damage is $1000 or more. Depending on your location at the time of the accident, the report should be filed with the Charlotte police department, the Highway Patrol, the sheriff’s office, or county police.

Accident Investigation

The first step in the process is to investigate the accident to determine how it occurred and who was at fault. This involves a thorough investigation. 

which may include examining evidence such as driver and passenger interviews, crash scene evidence, photographs of the vehicles involved, medical records, cell phone records, vehicle maintenance records, and even social media evidence.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Post-accident, you’ll have to interact with insurance companies. You can either file a claim with your own insurance company, which will then seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer. 

Remember, insurance companies aim to minimize payouts, so it’s crucial to be cautious when dealing with insurance adjusters and talk to a Charlotte car accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offers.

Damage Calculation

To negotiate a fair settlement, you need to understand the full extent of your damages. This includes physical injuries and property damage, but also other financial impacts such as lost wages, future earning potential, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. 

North Carolina law allows victims of car accidents to claim compensation for these damages, but estimating their worth, especially future expenses, can be challenging. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you document your losses and seek a fair settlement.

you need to comply with all the rules for filing a car accident claim

Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement

Most car accident cases are resolved out of court through a negotiated settlement. In a settlement, the insurance company agrees to pay you a specified amount of money, and in return, you sign a release, giving up your right to make any further claim against the defendant. Once both parties sign the settlement agreement, it becomes final, and generally, you cannot change your mind. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the full extent of your losses before you settle your case.

Insurance Claim Timeline

In North Carolina, the insurance company has 60 days to acknowledge the claim and send the policyholder instructions and paperwork, including proof of loss forms. The insurance company then has 30 days to make a decision on the claim and submit the final payment.

Lawsuit Filing Deadline

If you have a viable lawsuit, it must be filed within three years after the accident occurred. North Carolina has time limits for filing a lawsuit for both personal injury claims and property losses, including damages to your vehicle.

The Role of a Lawyer

A lawyer can play a pivotal role in the car accident settlement process. They can communicate with the other driver’s insurer, gather necessary evidence, organize your medical records and bills, communicate with your healthcare providers to obtain missing records, and work with your doctors to ensure they provide the medical information you need to prove damages in your claim. 

A knowledgeable car accident attorney knows how to best argue your case, ensuring payment on your claims and defending you against anyone accusing you of being at fault for the accident.

Call Our Charlotte Car Accident Lawyers Today!

Navigating through the process of a car accident settlement can be complex and stressful. It’s important to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected. Our Charlotte injury lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 704-706-2689 for a free consultation