Car accidents can be overwhelming and disorienting, and you may not know where to turn for guidance on basic questions you may have. Below are some answers to questions that may arise for you after your car crash.
Do I need to go to the doctor after an accident, even if I’m not in pain?
Yes. There are multiple reasons you should see a doctor right after you’re involved in a car accident. First of all, you may be hurt but not realize it. Many injuries that victims of car or truck accidents experience may not be obvious right away and can require a doctor’s expertise to uncover. Second, if you do end up incurring substantial medical expenses, not seeking treatment right away could diminish your eventual recovery. Waiting longer than 72 hours after an accident to seek medical care may be considered a “delay in treatment” by the insurance adjusters determining the value of your claim. Such a delay in treatment will lead the insurers to offer you a smaller settlement. It is thus important for you to seek medical care right away; if your regular doctor isn’t available within 72 hours, ask if there is someone else in the practice who could see you, or go to an urgent care facility.
What will happen to my car insurance rates after the accident?
Kentucky insurance companies look at several factors when reevaluating your insurance rates after an accident. A very important factor will be the circumstances under which you got in the car accident. This includes whether or not you were at fault for the accident and, crucially, whether you were doing anything illegal at the time of the accident. If you were intoxicated, speeding, driving recklessly, or ran a red light or stop sign in the moments before your accident, there is a high possibility that your insurance rates will go up. Insurance companies will also consider how many claims you’ve made on your policy in the past, your driving record, and what sorts of claim settlements you’ve received from the insurer in the past.
Your insurer may offer an accident forgiveness program. Such programs vary from insurer to insurer, but typically they allow you to keep the same insurance rate after one at-fault accident, depending on the severity of the accident.
How long will it take to process my claim?
The time that Kentucky insurance companies will take to settle a claim varies broadly. If the claim and issues of liability are fairly straightforward, and the value of the claim is not especially high, then settlement may only take a few months. If your claim adjuster is overrun with cases, if the questions of liability are not clear-cut, or if the claim is for serious injuries, then receiving a settlement may take a year or more from the date you submitted your claim. It is important not to settle your claim too soon, before the full extent of your damages is known.
Make sure your interests are protected and aggressively represented when you’re in a car accident. Contact Todd W. Burris Law, PSC for a free consultation on your potential claims with a knowledgeable Lexington car accident attorney. We are available throughout the Lexington, Kentucky area, as well as Georgetown, Richmond, Keene, Lancaster, Bryantsville, Clark County, and Mercer County.