Accident injuries can be painful, and their treatment is time-consuming and expensive. If your injuries were caused entirely by another person, that person’s liability insurance should pay for your injuries. You will file a personal injury claim with their insurance company.
According to a personal injury lawyer at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, you should be aware of specific time limits for personal injury claims.
Time Limit for Notifying The Insurance Company
The average Maryland automobile insurance policy states that a person must report their accident to their insurer within 24 hours. Since you will not have a copy of the insurance policy of the person that hit you, it is always a good idea to assume that the insurance policy has that 24-hour limit.
Time Limits for The Insurance Company
When you place your initial phone call to the at-fault party’s insurance company, you will talk to a customer service representative. They will ask you some basic questions about your accident, such as the time, date, and the vehicles involved.
The insurance company will have two weeks to “acknowledge” your claim. When they do this, they will request that you send in documentation of your accident and expenses. They are likely to ask you some questions about the accident but you do not have to answer those questions. They may even ask you if they can record the conversation, but you do not have to agree. It is better if you let your attorney deal with the insurance company instead.
You should get the documentation to them as soon as possible, which should include:
- The police accident report.
- Names of any witnesses.
- Pictures of the accident scene.
- All medical bills related to the crash.
- Auto repair bills.
- A letter from your employer stating any hours you have missed.
- Bills for any extra services you needed, such as house cleaning.
Your case will be assigned to an insurance adjuster who will have 15 days to look over the evidence and evaluate the case. They will decide to approve or deny the claim. If they approve the claim, you will be offered a settlement. It is a very good idea to talk to an attorney before accepting that settlement amount.
Why You Need a Lawyer
It is very rare for an insurance company’s first settlement offer to be fair. An attorney can negotiate with them on your behalf to get you the money you need because they will be well-versed in insurance law. In the event that they are unable to get you a fair settlement, they can help you file a lawsuit against the liable party. You have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Getting compensation from an insurance claim can take months, and if you go to court, it can take years. The sooner you contact an insurance company and the more evidence you collect, the better your chances of getting a fair settlement in a reasonable amount of time.