How to Get the Most from Your Accident Claim

Jan 25, 2023

It’s never a good idea to settle an insurance claim following an accident without legal representation. Insurance companies you are making the claim against have a team of attorneys representing them and will usually provide a lowball offer believing accident victims are desperate for any financial relief. Don’t let this happen to you or someone you love.

What You Need to Know Before Filing an Accident Claim

In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is two years, as outlined in Connecticut General Statutes § 52-284. This means that those who have been injured in a car crash caused by another’s negligence have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

However, before you can file a car accident lawsuit, you likely will need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In most cases, the insurer will have its own deadlines that you must meet for filing a claim. For this reason, you should file a claim as soon as possible.

Although these statutes of limitations give you plenty of time to file a lawsuit, witness’ recollections fade. For this reason, you should not wait to contact a trusted car accident lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo, you’ll find a team of personal injury attorneys with decades of experience handling a variety of car accident claims. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you avoid common mistakes made during the personally injury claims process.

The Evidence You Need to File a Claim

If you get into a car accident, one of the top ways to protect your legal rights is to gather evidence as soon as possible. This ensures that you’ll be prepared if you end up making a personal injury or property damage claim against another driver. Here are the types of evidence that you should try to collect in a typical automobile accident case.

  • Pictures of damage to your vehicle.
  • Pictures of bruises and injuries.
  • Statements from witnesses.
  • Police report.
  • The other driver’s insurance information (can be found on the police report)
  • Doctors report and medical bills.

If you have sustained serious injuries, medical treatment should be your number one priority. After that, you should do everything you can to gather evidence.

Take as many photos of the scene with your phone’s camera as possible. Take pictures of your injuries. Write down names of witnesses and their contact information. Gathering evidence at the site of the accident gives your attorney a head start when they begin investigating.

Don’t Accept a Settlement Before Speaking with an Attorney

Negotiating with an insurance company can be a complex and time-consuming process. Our personal injury lawyers can review your settlement offer, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and file a lawsuit if an insurer refuses to cover your injury costs—and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you.

Following an accident, many insurance companies will offer a small settlement when victims are most vulnerable and likely need immediate financial relief.

Accepting a claim too soon likely means you won’t receive maximum compensation. As we mentioned above, the insurance company’s first settlement offer usually comes early in the claim process, often before you’ve finished receiving medical treatment for your injuries, so that you don’t yet have an idea of how much your claim might be worth.

Once you agree to a settlement, even if it turns out that your car accident injuries are worse than you realized, and your claim is worth much more than the settlement amount, once you’ve signed the release, you’ve lost your right to any additional compensation. Learn more about what you need to know before signing a release in your car accident case.

Understanding and Documenting Your Injuries

After getting into a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to attend your health and protect your legal rights to compensation. Most insurance companies require that policyholders visit a doctor within a certain amount of time to file a claim for compensation.

Just like taking photos at the scene of the accident, documenting your injuries is equally important. For your treatment providers to deliver the appropriate care, they need to be advised of all your injuries and symptoms. Proper documentation will assist your attorney in proving your losses and damages if you decide to make a bodily injury claim.

A settlement that occurs before you know the full extent of your injuries may not fully compensate you for your injuries. Insurance companies know this and may offer to settle your case very quickly, and before you have time to understand the ongoing and potentially permanent impact of your car accident injuries.

Consult the Legal Team at BJM Law

When filing a personal injury claim, there are three main concerns that every accident claim involves: liability, fault, and damages. You need to be able to prove that these are linked, indicating that the defendant is responsible for the injuries that you have suffered.

Sufficient communication between the lawyer and the client is necessary for the client to effectively participate in the representation. When you file a personal injury claim, you will need to provide extensive information to your attorney so they can build your case effectively and prepare for potential arguments made by the insurance company. The information you discuss is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

You might be hesitant about disclosing some of your medical and financial past to your attorney, perhaps because of feelings of embarrassment or fear that they may determine that you do not have a case. This is a common mistake. Sharing negative details might be uncomfortable but withholding information from your attorney can ultimately damage your case.

Make sure you’re protected; consult with an attorney to determine what the insurance company is and is not entitled to obtain and review. Also, the faster you hire a personal injury attorney, the faster witness statements can be obtained, and testimony and other evidence preserved.

Contact the law offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo in New Britain and Waterbury, our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you secure the medical and financial assistance you need after suffering an injury.

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