OVERVIEW OF THE INJURY ACCIDENT CLAIM PROCESS IN NEBRASKA
What you should do and NOT do…and how we can help.
1. THE ACCIDENT
By the time you read this it is probably too late, but this is not the time, if it ever is, to be speaking with the bad driver’s insurance company. Why?
- His or her insurance company will likely try to contact you soon after the accident occurs to take a statement from you.
- His or her insurance company does not do so out of the kindness of its heart, but rather to protect its own financial interests.
- The best practice, therefore, is not to give any information in any form to the other guy’s insurance company.
- Get the medical care you need and, as soon as you can, contact a personal injury lawyer who knows what he or she is doing.
Most accident cases of any significance are investigated by the police, but they cannot always do everything necessary to preserve the evidence which would be essential to a proper presentation of your case later for settlement purposes or for trial.
- Photos or videotape of the accident scene, the vehicles, your injuries, and other related matters can be essential to the ultimate goal of obtaining the best possible financial result for you.
- All that can be obtained for you ultimately in the claims process is money. The best way to do that is to muster all the relevant evidence, some of which must be preserved immediately after the accident lest it be unobtainable after too much time has elapsed.
- An injury accident lawyer can help in this process. An investigator may need to be retained to take statements from witnesses, including the bad driver if possible, and pictures of the accident scene, vehicles, and your injuries.
- If the cause of the accident is an issue, an accident reconstruction expert may be retained and it may be of value to his or her investigation to go to the scene and examine the vehicles as soon as possible.
Your medical insurance company, your automobile insurance company (if your auto policy provided “medical payments” coverage), Medicare, Medicaid and, where applicable, your worker’s compensation insurance company/employer will want their money back for the payments they made for your medical treatment after the accident.
- The doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers will also look to you to get their bills paid, to the extent that your insurance did not fully pay.
- A personal injury attorney can help get between you and them. Most medical care providers, though not all, are willing to wait until settlement or a final trial judgment to get their “liens” paid.
- Frequently, the lien claims of insurance companies can be negotiated down from the full amount. Notification to these lien holders that you are represented by counsel can help get them off your back while your claim is pending.
4. STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
All injury claims cases are subject to time limits within which your claim must be filed or, failing that, the claim is forever lost and may not be pursued.
- Different states have different claim filing periods.
- Federal, state, and local governments have their own time requirements where there is a claim arising out of something done or not done by a government person.
- This is something which absolutely must not be overlooked and an injury accident lawyer can make sure a claim is timely filed.
5. WHEN DOES THE INJURED PERSON GET PAID?
All injury cases are different. Every injury case has its own course. Some settle early, some settle late, some settle after a formal “mediation”, which has become more and more popular in recent years, and some never settle as these are the cases which go to trial and, even then, a trial can be followed by an appeal, which can in turn be followed by a re-trial etc. etc.
The facts of life are that you simply will not get the financial result you deserve if you represent yourself. The bad driver’s insurance company would love to negotiate with you because they know you are out of your element and that they will be able to pay less than the full value of the claim.
The reason you need a qualified injury accident lawyer is the same reason lawyers do not purport to be car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, doctors, nurses, architects, or any other vocation or profession.
6. FEES AND COSTS
All of John Lefler’s plaintiff’s injury accident cases are done on a contingency fee, percentage basis, plus costs. This is discussed in more detail when you come in for the initial free evaluation
The above is not intended to be, and must not be taken as, legal advice.
8. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INJURY ACCIDENT CLAIM PROCESS
Please feel free to contact John M. Lefler on the contact page.