Did you know that more than 50% of the five million car crashes each year are caused by aggressive drivers in the United States? In fact, cities like Dallas, Texas are seeing an increase in crashes due to aggressive driving.
If you were in a car accident, whether it involved an aggressive driver or not, you might be eligible for compensation. To ensure you get what you are owed from your insurance company, you need to understand settlement negotiations.
Keep reading to learn the top tips.
Initiate the Claim Right Away
After a car accident, you’ll want to start settlement negotiations right away by filing your claim with your insurance company. The sooner you contact your insurance provider, the more accurate your recollection of the crash will be.
If you’re unable to immediately file a claim with your insurance, write everything down. Note everything you remember about the accident and keep accurate records of the details.
The evidence you gather will have a direct correlation to your car accident settlement amount.
Calculate a Fair Settlement
Before sending a car accident settlement demand to your insurance company, determine what you believe your claim is worth. This guide can help you find a car accident lawyer that will aid you in the calculations.
To arrive at an accurate figure, take the following into account:
- Cost of medical expenses
- Income lost if you were unable to work
- Long-term medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
Based on all of this information, decide on a minimum settlement figure. This should be a number that you would actually accept. Bump that number up because your first offer should be higher than what you want to accept.
Send a Detailed Demand Letter
After calculating what you believe your claim is worth, send a demand letter detailing the accident to your insurance provider.
Be sure to back your settlement demand up with evidence. For example, you can send in copies of your medical bills and receipts from repairing your vehicle. You can also ask a repair shop for an auto repair estimate to send in.
Tell your insurance company how much money you are demanding as a result of the accident. The insurance company will likely reply with a lower offer than what you initially asked for.
Don’t Accept the First Offer
If there’s one thing a lawyer will tell you, it’s that you shouldn’t accept the first offer that the insurance company sends. When you negotiate with insurance adjusters, their priority is to maximize their own profit.
The first offer is almost always low. Have a personal injury lawyer review the offer with you and help you plan out your next step. If you allow your lawyer to communicate on your behalf, you might get a better settlement.
Together, you can come up with a counteroffer by emphasizing points in your favor. Don’t waste time discussing undisputed facts because this won’t help your settlement.
To ensure you get what your claim is worth, ask for all offers to be presented in writing.
Settlement Negotiations: A Lawyer Can Help!
Settlement negotiations are seen every day in the legal industry. Although there are steps you can take to get the best settlement from a car accident on your own, hiring a lawyer will be your best option.
Attorneys can help you file your claim as soon as possible, calculate a fair settlement, send a detailed demand letter, and talk you through your options.
Use this guide to get the compensation you deserve. Don’t forget to come back for more articles like this.