Negotiating a settlement in a car accident claim can be challenging. The process of negotiating a settlement includes communicating with the insurance company, which often involves handling bad faith tactics used by insurance companies to devalue the car accident claim. In addition, claimants may struggle to assess the correct value of their economic and noneconomic damages. In this article, we share some tips to help you reach a favorable settlement when negotiating a car accident claim.
Don’t Accept The First Offer
Insurance companies are notorious for offering unreasonable amounts in the first settlement offer. This should not be surprising as they will try to minimize their payout. Accepting the initial offer without consulting with an attorney or doing proper research means you could leave money on the table. It is important to assess different aspects of the car accident claim before agreeing to any settlement amount. This includes the short-term and long-term impact of the car accident on your life.
Know The True Value Of Your Damages
Knowing the true value of your damages will increase your confidence when communicating with the insurance company. If you are uncertain about the damages, the insurance company may use this to their advantage. In addition, knowing the value of your losses is essential to know what to ask for in settlement negotiations.
You can start by gathering documents for your expenses, such as medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages. If you cannot find receipts for the expenses, you may have to contact the vendor to obtain copies to use as evidence in your claim.
While economic damages can be easier to determine, you might struggle to assess the noneconomic impacts of the car accident. This includes mental health issues that resulted from the accident. Victims of car accidents can have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other issues. You may be entitled to noneconomic damages, but you’ll have to gather enough evidence to prove this. While you want to maximize your compensation, you must set realistic figures based on facts and evidence.
Be Prepared To Handle Bad-Faith Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance adjusters are negotiators experienced in using different tactics to minimize their payout. The most common tactics include delaying the claims process, confusing claimants with technical jargon, offering a lowball settlement, or discouraging them from seeking assistance from a lawyer. They will try different ways to reduce their payout. So it would help to recognize potential bad faith tactics before falling victim to them.
Stay focused on the facts of the case, and rely on solid evidence to reinforce your claim. Make sure to communicate clearly with the insurance company, and don’t let their intimidating tactics make you anxious, as you should never feel pressured to accept a settlement offer.
It would be best to hire an attorney to help you navigate the process. The attorney should be aware of common tactics used by the insurance company, and should be able to guide you on how to avoid them.
Hire An Attorney For Guidance
Car accident claims can often be confusing, so don’t hesitate to consult a car accident attorney. If you don’t hire one, it is best to schedule a consultation to understand how they can help you with the claim. They are well-versed in the laws regarding car accident claims and know how to handle car accident claim negotiations. Just the presence of an attorney can help deter the opposing party from using bad-faith tactics. An attorney can even handle all the communication with the insurance company directly, reducing your burden so that you can focus on your physical and mental recovery from the car accident.
You may need evidence to help establish liability for the accident; some of this evidence might be difficult to get. This includes CCTV footage or expert testimony. An attorney can help you obtain this evidence. If the negotiations remain deadlocked, the attorney can help you consider other options for resolving the situation. This includes third party mediation. If nothing else works, the attorney can guide you to take the case to court. A lawsuit may be more expensive and time-consuming than other methods to obtain compensation for your suffering, but in some cases, it may be necessary to get justice.
Disclaimer: 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.