If you are considering your options for recovering compensation after being injured in a car accident, you may be confused about the difference between filing an insurance claim and filing a lawsuit. In general, filing a claim is your first step, but if the claim cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved, a lawsuit may result.
If you suffer injuries as a result of a car accident and the other driver was at fault, you will need to make a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company. The insurance company may offer the amount of compensation it feels you are entitled to, but if you do not agree with that amount and negotiations fail, you can file a lawsuit in court.
Filing a Claim
Filing a claim after you are involved in a car accident puts the insurance company on notice that you are seeking compensation for your injuries. The claim process begins with a call to the police at the time of the accident. The police report will record the details of the accident that you may be too shaken up to remember. You will need this information to prove your claim.
Insurance companies expect that you will file your claim within days of the accident. There is a statute of limitations in Alaska, meaning you must settle your claim or file a lawsuit within two years after the accident.
How a Vehicle Accident Attorney Can Help
Although you do not need an attorney to file an insurance claim, it can be helpful to have an attorney do some of the legwork. If you are injured, you should focus on trying to heal. An attorney can help with the following:
- Communicating with the other driver’s insurer
- Obtaining the necessary evidence to prove your claim
- Organizing medical records and bills
- Ensuring all medical records are in order
- Negotiating with the insurance company to reach a satisfactory settlement
If an agreement cannot be reached between you and the negligent driver’s insurance company, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Alaska attorney Ben Crittenden has helped countless accident victims, and he can put his experience to work for you. Call his Anchorage office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to learn more.