Car accidents can be overwhelming and disorienting. You may not know where to turn for guidance on basic questions you may have. The following are some questions that may arise as you work with your insurer or an attorney after an accident.
Do I need to go to the doctor after an accident, even if I’m not in pain?
Yes. Many injuries experienced as a result of a car accident fail to manifest until some time has passed since the accident, especially considering the degree to which you may be in shock after the crash. See a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident to determine whether you need treatment for an injury you can’t yet feel. Additionally, seeking medical treatment right after an accident will ensure that you can recover for your expenses resulting from the accident. You want to be sure that you can show that your injuries were associated with the accident, and a good way to do so is by showing that you needed treatment right after the crash.
What will happen to my car insurance rates after the accident?
If you were at fault for a car accident, your insurance company will consider a number of issues when determining how to adjust your insurance rate. One reason your policy costs may increase after an accident is if you were violating a law when the accident occurred. If you were speeding, driving recklessly, or intoxicated, your insurance rates will surely increase, and your policy may even be cancelled. These behaviors could lead to serious injury or death, making you a potentially expensive individual to insure in the future. Your insurer will also take into account how many claims you have filed, how much you have received in payouts under your policy, and your overall driving record. If your insurer offers an accident forgiveness program — permitting you to have one at-fault accident before your rate is affected—you may not experience a rate hike. However, limitations may apply on what accidents will be forgiven.
How long will it take to process my claim?
The length of time between when you file a claim and when you’re compensated for your damages can vary. For example, if your claim is straightforward (it’s obvious who is liable, your injuries were not severe, the size of the claim is relatively small), then you may receive a settlement within a matter of months. However, if you have filed a larger claim with your insurance company or if there are questions about who was responsible for the accident, then settling your claim may take longer. While you may want and need to obtain compensation as soon as possible, it is very important not to settle before you know the full extent of your injuries and other legal damages.
Don’t let your insurance company convince you to settle for less than you’re owed. Seek experienced and compassionate legal care to ensure you’re fully compensated after your Florida car accident. For a free consultation, contact Pensacola car accident law firm Whibbs Stone Barnett, to determine if you should hire an attorney for your claim. Our attorneys are available throughout the Pensacola area, as well as Panama City, Southern Alabama, Mobile, Escambia, and Baldwin counties.