Understanding the process of making a motor vehicle accident claim.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of someone else’s fault, you may be wondering “So what happens after my solicitor lodges my claim form with the insurer of the vehicle that was negligently driven”? “What is the process and how long will it take”?
At McColm Matsinger Lawyers, we strive to progress your claim as quickly as reasonably possible but please keep in mind that the legislation allows for certain periods of time to elapse between steps plus we need to wait for all of your injuries to stabilise. For your personal injuries to stabilise, they need to get to a point where they will not be getting any better or any worse. That may take at least 10 to 12 months from the date of the car crash. We will have your injuries assessed by a medical expert and ask for a report to be provided to us. Important aspects of that report will be an opinion regarding the degree of your permanent impairment, your future treatment needs and your ability to work.
The insurer must respond to the Notice of Claim within 14 days of receiving it. It will comment on whether the Notice complies with the requirements of the legislation. But most importantly for our injured clients, the insurer must state whether or not it is prepared to meet your reasonable rehabilitation costs. Usually, if liability is not in issue, those costs will be met.
Then, within 6 months of receiving the Notice of Claim, the insurer must either admit or deny liability (or allege contributory negligence). It must also make an offer to settle. Unfortunately, our experience is that the first offer is generally inadequate to fully compensate for the loss that has been sustained.
After those steps are completed and your injury is stable, we will ask the insurer to participate in a compulsory settlement conference. This is where we put your strongest case forward and argue for maximum compensation on your behalf.