Negotiating an auto insurance settlement after an accident can involve complex legal terms and procedures. This process can be overwhelming to handle after such a traumatic experience. Engaging a car accident attorney can help you navigate through the process and get maximum compensation for your claim. Here is an overview of what the negotiation process involves:
Seek medical attention immediately for the parties involved. Even minor injuries need to be checked. Timely medical checks and care help identify internal injuries or whiplash. They may not be evident but could be severe if untreated. When you seek medical assistance, confirm your injuries are well documented. Medical records can help secure your compensation and serve as evidence.
Document any relevant information available at the scene. It serves as evidence when negotiating with insurance companies. Take photos of the surrounding areas, the vehicles involved, traffic signals, visible damages, and injuries. Note the time, date, location, parties involved, road and weather conditions, plus other factors that might have caused the accident. Get contact information from the other drivers involved. If eyewitnesses are available, get their contact information and accounts. Their input can help establish fault and liability.
Report the incident to the police for official incident documentation. Give your local law enforcement agency the necessary information and get an accident report. Contact your insurance company and accurately describe your injuries and the accident. When speaking to insurance adjusters, remember their goal is to reduce payout and the company’s liability. Limit your words, remain polite and professional, and avoid admitting fault. Consult your car accident attorney before agreeing to make any recorded statements. The insurance companies will then conduct investigations to help determine liability. They may talk to witnesses, refer to the police report, and assess the damage.
Document all damages and incurred expenses. The damages may include property damage, which is the cost required to replace or repair the damaged vehicle. Medical expenses may include any medication bought as a result of the accident. Factor in hospital bills, therapies, and any expected future expenses related to the accident. Account for emotional distress, pain, and suffering as non-economic damages. You’ll then need to file a claim. Give all the relevant information and documentation to your insurer. An insurance adjuster assesses the damages and then offers a settlement. An attorney plays a major role as they negotiate on your behalf to settle on a fair agreement.
Back-and-forth negotiations are likely to follow once an insurance adjuster makes an offer. Counter offers commonly follow from both sides. Legal assistance at this point is useful as the negotiations may sometimes stall. An attorney can help build a strong case, negotiate skillfully, and get a settlement worth your loss. The settlement offer presented may be too low. Your attorney can assist you in evaluating the adequacy of the offer in relation to damages and potential costs of seeking further legal action. When necessary, they’ll help in getting legal help from the courts.
Reaching a favorable settlement needs patience and a clear understanding of the damages and your rights. A formal agreement gets drafted once both parties get an agreeable settlement amount. The agreement frees the other party from any future liability related to the accident. The insurance company then issues a settlement check. Understand the terms involved before accepting your check. Once you sign the settlement agreement, no further legal action can be sought regarding the incident.
Get the compensation you deserve by consulting an experienced car accident attorney today. Involving an attorney early enough can help you approach negotiations calmly and professionally. They can use their expertise to guide you through the complex legal process with your best interests in mind.