Car Accident Settlement Process in Waipahu, HI
Were you injured in a car accident in Waipahu? If so, the Hawaii car accident attorneys at Recovery Law Center can provide the qualified and compassionate legal representation you need. We know that results matter, and when you’re hurt, unable to work, and facing costly medical bills, you need an effective advocate on your side.
Most car accident cases result in settlements. However, the car accident settlement process in Waipahu can be complex, especially in cases involving serious injuries. A skilled attorney can represent you during settlement negotiations and push for maximum compensation while you heal.
You shouldn’t have to deal with the challenges of the claims process while you are trying to recover from your injuries. A Waipahu car accident lawyer from Recovery Law Center will handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on rebuilding your life. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Car Accident Settlement Process in Waipahu
There are several essential steps in the car accident settlement process:
- Talk to a Waipahu car accident lawyer: An attorney with Recovery Law Center will review your case for free. Then we can determine the best strategy to help you recover full and fair compensation.
- File your claim: The first step is to file a claim with your insurance company. Hawaii is a no-fault auto insurance state, meaning car accident victims generally turn to their own insurance to cover their losses in an accident. In Hawaii, all drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay for medical expenses if they suffer injuries in a crash.
- Accident investigation: Your settlement amount will depend on the facts of the case and the strength of your evidence. Once you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will begin an investigation into your claim. They will likely conduct interviews, review the police report, and collect medical records before making a settlement offer. Be careful what you say to an insurance adjuster. Even though it’s your insurer, their goal is to pay as little as possible. They can ― and will ― use anything you say against you to reduce or deny your claim. The best way to protect your legal rights is to contact a Waipahu car accident lawyer before the claims process gets underway.
- Negotiate a settlement: During negotiations, your attorney will try to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance adjuster. Settlement talks occur after your claim is accepted. Never accept the first settlement offer. It is almost always far less than what you truly deserve.
Dealing with the insurance company while trying to rest and recover from your injuries can add unnecessary stress to your life. A Hawaii car accident attorney can reduce your burden by preparing your claim, filing it, and pushing for the best possible outcome for you.
An experienced Waipahu car accident lawyer will also determine whether you can step out of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit for additional compensation. This is only possible in cases that meet a serious injury threshold in Hawaii. Your lawyer will determine whether your case meets the criteria so that you pursue financial compensation from every potential source.
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement After a Car Accident?
There is no precise time frame for reaching a settlement agreement after a car accident. The length of the claims process will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Severity of your injuries: If you sustained severe injuries and are still recovering, it may be challenging to predict the value of your claim. Your physician’s opinion about your response to treatment and your ability to make a full recovery are important factors when determining a case’s value.
- Who is at fault: Even in a no-fault state, it’s crucial to establish who is responsible for a crash, especially if you need to file a car accident lawsuit later. Determining fault takes time. You’ll have to prove the other party was somehow negligent and caused the crash that injured you.
- Quality of the evidence: Gathering and preserving evidence usually requires an experienced legal team. For example, privacy laws won’t allow you to collect someone’s cell phone records to prove they were texting while driving. But a lawyer can subpoena those records to prove a distracted driving case.
- Size of the claim: The more compensation you seek, the longer it will likely take to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are trained to pay out as little as possible, and they’re good at what they do. A Waipahu car accident lawyer will fight for you so that you are not underpaid.
While there is no set timeline for a car accident claim, working with a lawyer can certainly help expedite the process.
How Much is My Settlement Worth?
Determining the value of your car accident case can be challenging. No magic formula can put an exact dollar amount on your claim. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can estimate your losses for you after a thorough case review. As a general rule, the more severe your injuries and losses, the more compensation you can claim.
In Hawaii, all drivers must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance, which provides coverage for costs like:
- Emergency services
- X-rays and scans
- Surgery expenses
- Prescription medications
- Medical supplies
- Psychiatric care
Unless you have purchased additional coverage, PIP benefits max out at $10,000. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to pursue compensation for excess losses through a claim against the at-fault party.
Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Waipahu?
Even though Hawaii is a no-fault state, injury victims can step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver if:
- Your medical expenses exceed the limits of your PIP plan.
- You sustained serious injuries in the accident.
- Someone died in the crash.
If your case meets any one of these requirements, you can pursue compensation through a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you don’t initiate legal action before this statute of limitations expires, you will likely forfeit your ability to pursue compensation.