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How to Negotiate a Car Accident Settlement

kokou adzo

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Car accidents can be traumatic. Sadly, and this could be a harsh reality, car accident victims with valid claims are usually on a back-and-forth sequence when fighting for their claim. And in most cases, they’ll get less than the deserved compensation or settlement. 

When involved in a car crash as a result of a road user’s negligence, you may be entitled to a settlement from the other motorist’s insurance company. But then again, it will not be an easy road as most insurance companies will not be willing to part with more than they’ve budgeted for.  

The complexities involved when fighting for a rightful claim following a car accident will oftentimes feel overwhelming. It’s also a painstaking process that requires the input of a qualified attorney. 

Indeed, selecting the right representation can make all the difference. California, known for its bustling roads and highways, has seen its fair share of car accidents. Top-rated California car accident lawyers are crucial for ensuring victims receive the full compensation they deserve. Fortunately, Legal Finders can help you connect with these top-notch professionals, making the process less daunting and improving the chances of a favorable outcome.

To help you out, below are various ways to negotiate a car accident settlement. 

1. Gather Documentation

Every detail after a car accident should be documented. It is important to gather as much documentation as possible. Among the documents you should file include the police report, medical records, photos of the accident scene, and any other evidence you may have that can support your claim.

Providing your insurance company with these documents will help them take less time in processing your claim. Hey, it will also be a smart move to include the days you’ve been out of work following the car accident. Other records to show that you’ve missed out on important milestones such as your kid’s birthday or celebrating an anniversary with a loved one after a car crash can also help in building a stronger case. 

2. Calculate Your Damages

Once you have gathered all the necessary documentation, it’s time to calculate the total amount of your damages. This may include medical expenses, damage to property, and pain and suffering. In many cases, however, it requires the help of an accident lawyer in your local area because eligible damages and their respective costs in accident claims may vary from one jurisdiction to the other. 

This means that if the crash occurred in Arizona’s capital, for instance, you want to consult with a car accident lawyer in Phoenix to help you determine the total expenses for the damages you incurred as a result. With a crude figure on the table, negotiating for settlement becomes a tad bit easier. 

3. Determine Who To File The Claim With 

For car owners negotiating a settlement offer with their insurance company providers, it’s prudent that they first and foremost review their policy. This will help ensure that the areas of exclusions and coverage are specified in detail before filing the accident claim. 

But when dealing with the other motorist’s insurance company, you have your attorney to help request a settlement figure. This will usually require submitting a demand letter from the other driver’s insurance company and stating the compensation amount. 

Also, included in this letter should be a detailed description of the accident, an itemization of your damages, the other driver’s details, and an explanation of why you believe they should be held responsible. 

4. Negotiate for The Best Offer In Your Attorney’s Presence 

Right after sending the demand letter, the other party or their policy provider may respond with an offer. This is where negotiation actually kickstarts. By all means, you should be prepared to counteroffer and make sure you are comfortable with the proposed settlement before you agree to anything. 

Resist the temptation to take matters into your own hands by personally filing your claim. Having a personal injury attorney work on your behalf could help simplify things. If you do not have any prior experience in handling personal injury cases, then it’s only wise that you leave such matters to the pros. 

Below are a few considerations to ponder before hiring a Tampa car accident lawyer or similar personal injury attorney in your area. They include:

  • Hire an attorney with a proven track record in helping clients get the compensation they deserve
  • Consider hiring an experienced accident attorney with a good reputation to back them
  • A trustworthy personal injury attorney will have an open communication channel and unbeatable communication skills
  • Consider an attorney who will charge you on a contingency fee basis

5. Know Your Rights. 

Whether you are the owner of the car or a passenger, you have legal rights that will at the end of the road help to protect you. It’s very important to first review your state’s laws regarding car accidents and insurance policies. 

Having an in-depth understanding of the requirements needed when filing a claim, the types of damages you can recover, and the time frames involved will be a surefire way to jumpstart your pursuit for fair compensation. While an attorney might help expound these issues in detail, being privy to the same should give you a head start on what to expect. 

Moreover, there are certain mistakes that a motorist should avoid to help secure their case. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a serious car wreck avoid them by all means. They include: 

  • Fleeing the scene of the accident
  • Admitting fault
  • Failing to document the accident
  • Failing to seek immediate medical attention
  • Failing to document medical expenses
  • Failing to contact your insurance company
  • Failing to contact a personal injury attorney

6. Finalizing Your Settlement

Insurance companies are not always after your best interests. They are known to place a low figure on the table and play delay tactics to see if the victim grabs the offer. The last thing you want to do is fall into this trap. Before signing on the dotted line, ensure that you’ve read the settlement documents carefully. 

While you may want to end the negotiation process quickly, especially after a long and stressful process, ensure that you have your attorney present. Also, it is highly advisable to remain calm throughout the process – as this could be all that it takes to get favorable compensation.

 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, do not despair. Several rights are there to help protect innocent car crash victims, from pedestrians to motorcyclists, and even motorists with the right insurance policies. 

All in all, car accident claims are intricate and stressful in nature. Luckily, the points can help you get the best possible outcome when negotiating a car accident settlement in or out of court. With these, an experienced attorney on your side, a support group, and family, you can almost be sure to emerge victorious.

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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