How to Negotiate a Car Accident Settlement
Unfortunately, accidents happen – especially involving automobiles. While anyone could make the argument that a lot of people are unfit to drive, we could also make the argument that a lot of those drivers inevitably filed a personal injury claim. However, this involves entering into a car accident settlement, which means intense negotiations with an insurance company.
Whether you deal with an insurance company on your own or seek the legal advice of an attorney, it is important for you to realize a few things before going to negotiate a car accident settlement. Here are five things you need to know about making a personal injury claim (and winning your monetary compensation).
Just because you were in a collision doesn’t entitle you to hundreds of thousands of dollars, regardless of your injury. Ask yourself what the lowest amount of money you’re willing to accept, and which amount will make you the happiest. Be as honest with yourself as possible, because the insurance company of the other party will lower this high-ball number. If it is unrealistic (such as receiving $75,000 in payment for a broken hand), it will be harder for you to evaluate other settlement offers. Value the number of damages you may be able to claim for! Others will see that you may not know what you are doing and will not hesitate to take advantage of you.
Don’t Accept Low Offers
Insurance companies will give you low-ball offers. These offers are often a fraction of the total settlement claim payment you deserve. They often cater to people’s desperation to receive any amount they can get. Therefore, in any negotiation, it is critical not to respond emotionally. Respond as logically as possible – as it is harder to make informed decisions that are in our best interest when we are emotionally triggered or mentally fogged.
Should You Get an Attorney?
People in minor injury recoveries most likely don’t need an attorney’s help with insurance settlement negotiations. There are some instances where you will be able to negotiate yourself, as “soft tissue injuries” and superficial wounds or sprains and bumps don’t require much medical or legal attention. However, motorcycle accident injury attorneys are specialists in cases where there are often broken bones or in cases that require hospitalization.
Both your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company will ask both of you to verify losses for financial record statements. Documenting your losses and expenses because of the accident will make it easier during negotiations to keep track of what happened and to set the record straight. Keep a dedicated record of medical bills, automobile repair bills and updates regarding employment. Doing so helps prove monetary losses to insurance companies.
An experienced personal injury attorney is your best possible chance of winning your settlement. In this case, winning refers to receiving the full monetary compensation for your major injuries and horrible trauma. Cases that require hospitalization, spinal cord injuries or facial scarring are considered “high dollar,” which spells bad news for you if you don’t have an attorney to protect you against insurance companies. It is the job of these companies not to pay you monetary compensation.
Remember, the documents you took and the receipts you kept will do your talking for you. Being diligent about keeping records of everything will add weight to your claim. Furthermore, it’s wise to review a classic book about negotiations called “Never Settle The Difference,” written by a former CIA negotiator.