When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s easy to understand that you may be unsure of what comes next and what to expect throughout the process. There are various steps to consider, though, as they can impact how your claim is handled and how the timeline continues.
It’s vital for you to recognize the timeline involved and it starts immediately following the crash. Having a strong understanding of what to expect gives you peace of mind throughout the entire situation. In a no-fault state like North Dakota, it’s even more important to understand any potential changes in the way the timeline progresses and what your rights are.
In many cases, the lawsuit involves the following situations:
- Filing a claim with your insurance company
- Receiving a settlement or denial of your claim
- Filing a lawsuit for rightful compensation
- Filing a lawsuit for property damage
- Determining a third-party lawsuit
- Going through discovery
- Receiving a settlement or going through trial
To learn about each stage, click on the links above or continue reading below.
Call our firm at (855) 245-5100 today to discuss your potential case.
Filing Your Claim
After the accident, you’re going to file the claim for bodily injuries with your insurance company to begin the process. Your insurance company is required to investigate the matter and pay out compensation according to the provisions within your policy.
Keep in mind, you have limits within your insurance premium that may play a factor in your pursuit of compensation.
Settlement or Denial
The insurance company can make a decision about your claim and either off you a settlement or deny the claim based on various reasons. In many situations, it’s vital to have a lawyer on your side who can help you should you encounter a wrongful claim denial. If you receive a settlement, keep in mind that because of the laws in North Dakota, they only cover bodily injuries that you may sustain.
Filing a Lawsuit
Should your insurance company wrongfully deny your claim and refuse the compensation you deserve, you have the legal right to work with an attorney to take additional legal action and file a lawsuit. In this situation, you want to make sure you have ample evidence to support your claim, meaning it’s vital to look for certain things at the scene of the accident, including:
- Any contact information for the other driver and his or her insurance to get a better idea of their statement
- Any witness statements that can help prove the other party was liable for the accident
- Any photos that show you were not at fault and deserve to receive compensation from your insurance provider
- Any medical records from your visits to the emergency room or doctor’s office
In North Dakota, while most claims for bodily injury go through your own insurance company, the pursuit of compensation for property damage can be filed against the party responsible for the crash. It’s important for you to speak with your lawyer to determine the most effective method to go about this, especially if your vehicle is totaled.
In most no-fault states, there’s a threshold regarding severity of the injuries you sustain that may allow you to file an additional third-party lawsuit against the negligent person. For instance, if the injuries cause disfigurement, permanent disability, or other similar problems with lifelong effects, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit.
It’s important to speak with your legal team during this time to determine what comes next and what you can do moving forward.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process is one of the most important phases in any situation where you file a lawsuit to seek compensation following a crash. This is the phase that allows both sides of the lawsuit to bring forth significant evidence to help prove liability, negligence, and more.
During this phase, your legal team can present things such as the various pieces of evidence you were able to gather (photos, etc.), witness testimony detailing your story, and other resources including medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and more.
This is the phase when many car accident claims settle because there is sufficient evidence brought in to prove negligence and the need for compensation.
Settlement or Trial
The settlement offer often comes from the insurance company, but in far too many situations, it’s an amount much less than you need to move forward after an accident. The settlement is a way for insurance companies to protect their profits and avoid paying out the full amount of compensation you need to move forward.
If the insurance company offers an unfair settlement, you may be able to move forward with a potential trial to try and recover the compensation you need. Working with a lawyer during this time is vital as it safeguards you from the acts of the insurance company, as well as helps you tell your story in a manner that protects your best interests.
At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we work hard to help you throughout every aspect of your claim and guide you through the process. This can be a very complicated time for you, and you need someone who is ready to go the extra mile on your behalf. You can trust in our North Dakota car accident attorneys to be there when you need us most, working to obtain the compensation and justice you need.
If you suffer an injury in an accident, we’re here for you. Call us today at (855) 245-5100 and schedule your free consultation with a legal professional who can fully explain your rights and options.