If you are in a car accident with serious injuries, you’ll probably have a pile of medical bills and possibly weeks or months of lost work time.
But you can follow the tips below to get the best car accident settlement so you can get back on your feet personally and financially.
Don’t Take The First Settlement Offer
When you file the car accident claim with your or the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll write a demand letter. This document will state your injuries and damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Next, the insurance company will respond with an initial settlement offer – but don’t take it.
There’s seldom a situation where an experienced car accident attorney would recommend taking the first settlement offer. It’s usually extremely low, as they are hoping you’ll take the offer and move on.
Sometimes, the offer can be reasonable but too low. If that happens, respond with a counteroffer that is 5 percent or 10 percent lower than what you gave in your demand letter. This shows you’re being reasonable but are to be taken seriously during negotiations.
Hopefully, if you bargain a bit more, you’ll reach a final offer that both sides believe is fair.
Ask The Insurance Company To Explain A Lowball Offer
Say you broke your leg when another car hit you while running a red light. You spent a night in the hospital, which cost $15,000, and lost two weeks of wages. Including pain and suffering, your demand letter asked for $25,000 of compensation.
But the insurance company makes a ridiculous $10,000 initial offer. So this could be an effort to get you to settle for as little money as possible.
Instead of responding with a counteroffer, tell the insurance adjuster to explain their low offer. Remember to take notes when they present the offer details.
Next, compose a brief note explaining your response to each of the insurance company’s points.
Depending on how good the reasons are, consider dropping your ask by a few thousand dollars. But before you make a lower request, see if the insurance company will bump up their offer.
When you talk to the insurance company again, request that they answer your last letter. Then, hopefully, the insurance adjuster will increase their offer so you can arrive at a fair number.
Take Your Time
Immediately after your car accident, the insurance company may call you with their initial offer. As noted earlier, you should reject it.
However, it’s also vital to understand that you might not know how injured you are for days, weeks, or even months.
For instance, say you strike your head on the side window during a T-bone collision when the other driver runs a stop sign. The initial doctor’s examination indicates you have a mild concussion but should recover after one or two weeks.
But six weeks later, you experience migraines, blurred vision, and memory problems. It turns out you had a brain bleed as well as a concussion, and now you have $30,000 of medical bills.
If you took an initial low offer, you’d be stuck with the bill. It usually pays to wait to see if your injuries will get worse after a few weeks.
Following these basic principles after a car accident will increase the chances that you’ll receive a fair settlement.
Getting the money you need to address your medical needs ensures you will make the fastest recovery. And that will help you put your life back on track.