After getting into a car accident, you understandably have a lot that you will need to take care of in order to move forward with your life. Many of these conflicts that you will need to resolve are financial, whether directly or indirectly, and so it is important that you make certain that your settlement covers the costs of your injuries. Typically after an accident, you will file a claim with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver and work directly with a claims adjuster as they investigate your situation. At the end of their investigation, they will offer you a settlement. Easy enough, right? Think again.
When you file a claim with an insurance company, their primary focus is to limit the amount of money they ultimately pay out for you, regardless of whether or not you deserve more than they would like to pay. Their primary goal throughout this process is to save themselves money, NOT to get you enough money that you can focus on recovering without fear of debt and expenses. Learn more about car accident law here, and get a general idea of the steps that you can take in order to maximize your settlement after a car crash.
Perform Your Own Investigation
From the moment you file your accident claim, a team of insurance representatives will spring into action in order to make sense of your accident and then make you a low settlement offer in the hopes that you will accept it without realizing what you actually deserve. The best use of this time is to gather your own information about your financial impacts and your non-economic damages so that when it comes time to discuss a settlement, you have your own information to negotiate with.
Bring Data To The Table
When you are attempting to reach an agreement with an insurance company, wanting more money is not the same as deserving more money, and even deserving a certain amount does not automatically entitle you to it through your initial settlement offer. In order to negotiate a fair settlement, you will need to provide ample proof about every single dollar that you are requesting in your settlement, and will need to argue the importance of each detail before the insurance company may be willing to compromise. Without hard data, your argument for more money will not hold water.
Get Ready To Negotiate
Even if you have extensive information and data compiled for your own accident and the injuries that you have suffered, the insurance company will not simply cut you a check for the exact amount you would get during a trial. You will need to negotiate fairly aggressively for each line item in your claim, and even still the insurance company will push back every chance they get. Before you are ready to accept an offer from the insurance company, you will need to be prepared to go through weeks, months, or maybe years of negotiations if you hope to avoid trial.
Hire An Attorney
All of these steps sound pretty overwhelming for someone who is trying to recover from an injury, right? This is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is such an important step early into the process. Many people think that they should wait until they have filed their claim and are already working with an insurance agent before speaking with a lawyer, but the sooner you have legal support, the stronger your chances of a positive outcome will be. They will be able to use their legal experience and knowledge to build a strong argument that will help you get what you need while you are able to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on