Feb 05, 2023 | CHASENBOSCOLO

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work

Suffering injuries in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. In addition to pain and discomfort, you may face temporary or permanent disability, forced time off your job, or even the need to stop working entirely. If another party’s negligence caused your accident-related injuries, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Understanding how car accident settlements work can help you feel prepared for every stage of the process.

How to File a Car Accident Claim

If another driver caused the accident that led to your injuries, they are potentially liable for the losses you suffer. To begin the process of seeking the compensation you deserve, you will file your injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurer will require the following information about the parties involved in the accident. Be sure to request what you need from the other driver before leaving the scene of the accident, if possible, including:

  • Names of drivers involved
  • Insurance policy number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle’s license plate and registration numbers
  • Date of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Police report

When providing this information, avoid saying anything further to the insurance adjuster. They may use additional information in an attempt to devalue your claim. Rather than giving any statements yourself, let them know that your attorney will contact them to provide any additional information they may need.

Investigating the Accident

When you inform the insurance company about the accident, they will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash. When you work with an experienced car accident attorney, they can conduct an investigation of their own to assemble evidence that can strengthen your case. Such evidence may include:

  • Photographs of the accident and your injuries
  • Traffic camera or dashcam footage of the crash
  • Police report
  • Doctor’s notes and medical records of your injuries
  • Receipts and invoices to demonstrate your medical expenses
  • Employment and income information to prove lost wages
  • Witness statements

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work 2Determining Fault

The evidence your attorney collects in their investigation can help them determine who is at fault for your injuries. In many cases, it will be the other driver. However, the evidence may determine that another party is responsible for your losses, including:

  • Vehicle or component manufacturer – If your accident-related injuries were due to a malfunctioning vehicle part, such as faulty brakes, you could seek compensation from the manufacturer or designer of the vehicle or its component.
  • Organization in charge of maintaining the road – When an accident happens due to improperly maintained roads, the entity in charge of ensuring the roadway’s safety can be liable for your losses. The at-fault party may be a municipal, state, or federal government body. It could also be a private owner.
  • Vehicle repair shop – If an accident occurs because a mechanic has failed to diagnose or fix a problem with a vehicle, you may be able to hold them accountable for your losses.

In some cases, multiple parties may bear responsibility. An experienced attorney will know how to handle such complicated car accident settlements.

Calculate the Value of Your Losses

Your attorney can help you calculate how much compensation you should seek for losses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced income capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Each claim is different, but a good lawyer will not settle for anything below what you deserve.

Negotiating Car Accident Settlements

Your attorney will submit a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, informing them how much compensation you are seeking. In most cases, you will receive a response within a few weeks, but the insurance adjuster will often offer less than you have requested. Your attorney may begin negotiating until you have reached a fair settlement. Once successful, the insurer will send you a check for your compensation package.

You may need to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation if the negotiations are unsuccessful.

A seasoned car accident attorney can increase your chances of a favorable outcome at each stage of your claim by ensuring your case is as strong as possible.


If you have injuries in a car accident, the experienced attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO will fight for your rights and interests. Our legal team is committed to protecting injured individuals in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. We will fight for your compensation via a negotiated settlement or courtroom verdict. Call us today at (301) 220-0050 or contact us online for a confidential case evaluation to learn more about your legal rights. 

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