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Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much time do I have to file a claim?

If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, the statute of limitations is three years. If you fail to file your claim within three years from the date of the car accident, you could lose your right to seek compensation altogether. If the claim is for wrongful death, however, you only have two years before your claim is time barred.

2. When should I see a doctor?

It is best to see a doctor as soon after an auto accident as possible. Even if you don’t think you have suffered an injury, a doctor can conduct certain tests that may reveal injuries you were unaware you had. In addition, many insurance companies will not pay for your injuries if you do not seek treatment right away.

3. How much will the insurance company pay for pain and suffering?

While there is not an exact formula, in general, the amount the insurance company pays correlates to the severity of the injuries and the amount of medical care you require. In general, the more serious the injuries are and the more extensive the treatment is, the more you will be able to recover for your pain and suffering.

4. What if I cannot work because of my injuries? Will I be able to recover my lost wages?

Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not pay for any part of a claim until you are ready to settle your case for a lump sum, which typically happens after you have received all of your medical care and treatment. If you incurred lost wages due to your injury or medical treatment, you should be compensated for those wages as part of you lump sum settlement or verdict.

5. An adjuster contacted me about settling my case. Should I do it?

It is usually not a good idea to settle your claim with an insurance adjuster before you have finished your medical treatment. When you settle your case, you will be required to sign a release that cuts off future benefits forever. If you sign this release before you have finished with your medical treatment, you will not be able to recover any sort of compensation for future treatment, if your injuries get worse, or if your doctor discovers new injuries.

6. When should I contact my insurance company?

It is best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company may prejudice future claims such as underinsured and medical payments if you fail to report your claim.

7. How long will it take to settle my claim?

Depending on your specific case, it could take anywhere from several weeks to several years to settle. The duration of your medical treatment drives the timing of the case. However, it is important to fully treat and recover from your injuries. Do not rush through your treatment or avoid treatment all together in a hurry to settle your claim. At Bell & Bell Law Firm, we can take steps to expedite the handling of your case so that when you are fully recovered we can move your case to settlement as quickly as possible.

8. How much do you charge for your services?

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not collect an attorney fee unless we recover a settlement. If a settlement is recovered, we take a percentage as payment for our services.

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