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How exactly does a car accident settlement work?
Dr. Summer TurnerDec 27, 2023 11:44:12 AM6 min read

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?

After being injured in a car accident, you probably have a thousand things running through your mind.

You are probably wondering what the next step is, how injured you are, if anyone else is injured, if your car can be fixed, who was at fault, and how much money the accident is going to cost.

There is a lot to worry about after a car accident, and you are justified to be thinking about all of the items above - and more.

However, once you learn you weren't at fault for the accident, your focus should shift slightly.

Now, you need to worry about receiving the best accident settlement you can.

Your car accident settlement will cover the cost of your medical bills, replacing or repairing your car, and many more damages.

In the article below, we will go over a few aspects of how car accident settlements work.

Table of Contents


Successful Car Accident Settlements Require Information

If you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, you may have a long road ahead of you.

The process of having a successful accident injury case and receiving a settlement begins before the dust settles in your accident.

The first thing you need to do is have your injuries treated and receive all the necessary medical treatments.

But, if you are well enough, you need to do a few things at the scene of the accident.

First, you should take pictures of the accident scene.

Take pictures of the vehicles involved and your injuries.

Next, get the contact and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident, including the passengers.

You also need to get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident happen.

Be sure to note the locations of any nearby surveillance cameras that could have captured your accident.

If private businesses own these cameras, jot down the name of the business so you can contact them later.

Always call the police to the scene of the accident so they can file a police report.

Last but not least, you should notify your insurance company of the accident but not before speaking to a few personal injury lawyers who can help you with your case.

You will need to gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident to assist in settling your claim later on.

If you don't have to be taken to the ER after your accident, you should still schedule an appointment with a car accident doctor as soon as possible.

You will need to be examined by a medical professional, so you can be sure you don't have any serious underlying issues like whiplash or traumatic brain injuries.

Linking any injuries after a motor vehicle accident will also strengthen the validity of accident claims.


A personal injury attorney can help you file a formal claim

Filing A Formal Accident Claim

Once the dust has settled after your accident, it's time to file a formal claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company.

This is called a third-party insurance claim since you are filing with someone else's insurance company and not your own.

Before you start this process, you should speak with personal injury attorneys who can help guide you through it.

You and your lawyer will notify your insurer about your claim and file the formal claim quickly after a crash.

This should happen quickly, so do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer.

It may also be a good idea to file a claim with your own insurer so you can receive even more benefits, like medical payments benefits, potentially underinsured motorist coverage, and additional coverages.


What Damages Can You Recover Through a Settlement?

After filing your claim, you may be able to recover several types of damages.

The most common type of damage people injured in car accidents receive is medical expenses.

These medical expenses can include transport to the hospital, emergency treatment, imaging services, prescription medication, surgery, hospitalization, follow-up care, chiropractic care, and rehabilitation.

If you were too injured to work or you had to miss work to attend doctor's appointments, you can recover lost damages.

If your injury leaves you completely unable to perform the same type of work you performed before your accident, you can recover what's called Loss of future earning capacity or business opportunities.

Your settlement will also cover repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, as well as the cost to rent a car while your vehicle is unavailable.

Physical and mental pain and suffering are also available in accident settlements, and your personal injury lawyer will help determine the amount you are owed after your accident.


The extent of your injuries can affect your settlement

Factors Affecting Settlements

Each car accident settlement will have its own unique set of circumstances that will affect the amount of compensation you may receive.

Some of those factors are:

  • Policy limits from the liable party. If the person who caused your accident is uninsured or carries low policy limits, it could reduce the amount of damages you're able to recover. If this is the case, your attorney will identify all sources of liability and all insurance resources you can access for compensation.
  • The severity of your injuries. Severe injuries will allow your attorney to use a higher multiplier when calculating your non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
  • Your age. Injuries to individuals in the middle of their careers often result in higher payouts than those incurred by children, young adults, or elderly people. This may seem unfair, but it's because children don’t have income, and young adults generally have a lower income than people further along in their careers. The more income a person makes, the more lost wages they are eligible to recover.
  • Necessary treatment and recovery time. Severe injuries will require more extensive medical treatment and come with longer recovery times. This often leads to a greater impact on your life and more non-economic expenses.


Seek Medical Care After A Car Accident

If you've been injured in a car accident, the best thing you can do to strengthen your settlement amount is to seek immediate medical care.

If you aren't severely injured during your accident, the best doctor to see is an experienced car accident chiropractor.

Beyond treating the injury and restoring your health, there are ways that a doctor of chiropractic can help with the personal injury claim itself.

Your chiropractor will document all of your injuries after your accident, which will improve your chances of a favorable settlement.

To win compensation for your treatments, you need to be sure that the care you receive is deemed medically necessary.

To do this, you will need the proper documentation from your chiropractor.

Your chiropractor can also work with insurance companies.

Dealing with the ins and outs of insurance is an added stress you don't need when you're nursing injuries.

Your chiropractor, along with your attorney, will relieve your stress and allow you to focus on your physical recovery.

An experienced chiropractor can also lead to a faster settlement.

When you file a personal injury claim, a chiropractor who focuses on accident injuries can improve your personal injury claim by advising which of your injuries need treatments and the best course of action.


A car accident chiropractor can help your claim

Visit The Arrowhead Clinic Today

The accident settlement process can be long and stressful, but you don't have to do it alone.

The Arrowhead Clinic has been helping victims of car accidents for over 40 years, and they are prepared to help you today.

After your initial consultation, the Arrowhead Clinic can refer you to a reputable auto accident attorney that can help you receive full compensation for your damages.

If you're ready to recover from your accident both physically and financially, contact the Arrowhead Clinic today by clicking the button below.



Dr. Summer Turner

Dr. Turner is Arrowhead Clinic’s Atlanta Chiropractor. She is originally from North Carolina but has traveled all over the country pursuing her career as a Chiropractor by treating people who have been injured in accidents and people who suffer from chronic pain. She has been with Arrowhead for many years, fulfilling her desire to help accident victims and patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions. Dr. Turner is well-versed in chiropractic care with an emphasis on sports-related therapies. She had the opportunity to train under the chiropractor for the Carolina Panthers to complete her Master's in Sports Rehabilitation. She studied under two more chiropractors, which allowed her to sharpen her skills and adjusting techniques. Dr. Turner is certified in several soft tissue techniques, including Active Release Technique (ART) and Fascial Distortion Model (FDM), as well as a movement diagnosis technique called Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Dr. Turner believes that movement is life and, as such, plays a critical role in overall health. She has always been passionate about helping people improve their quality of life, be it through chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, and/or a variation of physical modalities. She has helped many individuals achieve a healthier life. A recent review left by one of Dr. Turner’s patients stated, “Great customer service from staff. Quick and effective service from the doctor.” Dr. Turner offers free, same-day consultations to anyone in pain. She is available for appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.