Five Tips for Negotiating the Maximum Amount in a Car Accident Settlement
When you are involved in a car accident that was caused by the reckless actions of another driver, you are entitled to compensation. After reporting the accident to law enforcement and getting medical attention for your injuries, your next step is to notify your car insurance provider. If the other driver is at fault, you may be offered a settlement for any injuries, property damages, or other losses you suffer.
Before accepting any offers or signing any documents limiting your rights, it is important to be sure you are getting the amount you are entitled to. Once you accept a settlement, you will be forfeiting any future rights to compensation. To protect yourself, follow these five tips on insurance negotiations.
- Do not underestimate losses.
Cars Direct advises that in working towards a settlement, insurance companies have a tendency to underestimate future losses you are likely to suffer.
Car accident injuries can have lasting ramifications on your health, which could impact your ability to work or engage in other activities. Consider long term medical expenses and any potential future losses in income.
- Gather information supporting your claim.
Do not rely on the insurance company to do all the legwork with your claim. Gather police accident reports, photos from the accident scene, and contact information for witnesses, along with copies of your medical records and names of medical providers who treated your injuries.
For property damages, the Florida Statutes provide guidelines for insurers to follow. For repairs, check out the prices local mechanics charge and the price of parts. If your car is totaled, look for the Kelly Blue Book value, and get quotes for a comparable replacement vehicle.
- Resist the temptation to settle for less.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and one way of accomplishing this is denying or disputing claims.
A low settlement offer is just that-an offer. You are not obligated to accept it. You have the right to request a further review and to speak to the claim adjuster’s supervisor regarding any your claim, particularly if you feel a settlement is lower than what you deserve.
- Take time to consider any offers.
Another common tactic used by insurers is pressuring you to accept an immediate settlement. They know that you are likely still reeling from your accident, and may be feeling anxious as your medical bills mount. Remember, you have only chance to recover financially in a settlement, so take the time to carefully consider whether an offer adequately covers your costs.
- Consult an experienced car accident attorney.
When dealing with insurance companies, having professional legal representation can help ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in your claim. Before accepting any offers that may be less than what you need or deserve, call or contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely online and request a free consultation with an experienced Bradenton car accident attorney.