Auto Accident Compensation: What You Need To Know
Auto accidents that result in injuries typically cause severe financial stress to those harmed in the crash. If you are ever seriously injured in an auto accident, you are going to need compensation for your financial damages such as medical bills and lost income. The following article examines this critical legal topic.
How Do You Pay a Lawyer?
Although you do not have to employ the services of an attorney after a serious auto accident, it's generally a good idea. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate with the other party's insurance company for the best possible settlement. If they are unable to reach a settlement with the insurer, the attorney can then file a civil suit on your behalf.
Many people will be concerned about how to pay for an attorney, but fortunately, many auto accident attorney work on a contingency fee basis. They will only receive a fee if and when they reach an acceptable settlement with the insurer or obtain an award for damages in court. If you lose in court, however, you might be required to pay for certain costs involved in the case, such as filing fees or paying expert witnesses.
The usual fee for a lawyer working in a contingency fee is typically between 33 and 40 percent of the settlement or award.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you are unable to reach a settlement and need to file a lawsuit, keep in mind that the time you have to file is limited. The statute of limitations will vary depending on the state in which the case is filed. Two or three years is common, although, in some states, such as Kentucky and Louisiana, it's only one year. Hiring a lawyer early in the process will help ensure that you do not violate the statute of limitations and lose your chance to get fair compensation.
Is There a Formula for Settlement Offers?
Although there is no exact formula used by all insurers to offer a settlement in an auto accident case, the so-called "multiplier method" is a common way for insurers to come up with an amount to compensate the injured person.
The multiplier method takes your medical expenses that result from the accident and then multiplies that amount by a number from one to five. They take this figure and add in certain other factors, such as lost income and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and then offer you this final amount.
Getting fair compensation for a serious car accident is often a lengthy and complex process. Consult an auto accident attorney to find out more.