Statistics have shown that many car accident claims rarely go to trial. Most parties usually agree to reach a mutually agreeable settlement to avoid the expensive and time consuming litigation process. You need to begin your negotiations claim immediately after recovering from injuries and you have all necessary documents. In this article, we are going to give you tips on how to settle a car accident claim.
1. Consider how badly you were hurt
The first very important step of settling a car accident claim with an insurance company is by determining the extent of your injuries. If you only suffered some few bruises as a result of the accident then it is prudent that you don’t demand unrealistic compensation for the injuries that you succumbed. On the other hand, if you suffered very serious injuries and you have undergone through an extensive medical treatment, experienced significant amount of pain or even loss your income as a results of the accident, it is very important to involve an attorney to give you legal advice on how to progress with the case. When damages are high, the stakes are high for everyone because you will demand a huge compensation and the insurance company won’t want to pay you huge large amount of money. When things are complicated, it is prudent that you hire an attorney to represent you in your negotiation so that you get a fair settlement that matches with the pain that you went through as a result of the accident.
2. Know who was at fault
When it comes to settling an accident claim with an insurance company, it is very important to know who was at fault. Insurance company will do everything possible to try and blame you for the accident. Before you start the negotiation process, ensure that you clearly know who caused the accident and how it happened. Ensure that you have a list of witnesses who will testify on your behalf. The defense may even point finger at you and say that you were not watching where you were going or you were driving too fast and you could have avoided the accident you weren’t driving fast. Insurance companies are profit oriented organizations they will do everything in their power to ensure that you don’t get compensated or give you compensation that is lower than the amount that you deserve. To avoid this, ensure that you do your research well to know who exactly was at fault and have witnesses who can support you.
3. Have a settlement amount in mind.
When coming up with a demand letter, you need to determine what you think your claim is worth. You also need to determine the minimum figure that you will are willing to accept but you should not reveal this crucial information to the adjuster. However, you need to be flexible; if the adjuster point out some fact that you had not considered when coming up with your settlement figure, it is prudent if you think of reviewing your figure. On the other hand, if the adjuster starts with a figure that is that is near your minimum, experts’ advice that you should revise your figure upwards.
4. Don’t agree the first offer
Don’t agree on the first offer that the insurance company offers. In most cases, insurance company will offer a lower value for your claim just to see if you know what your claim is worth. Even if you think the offer is reasonable, you need to decline the offer and make a counter offer that is a little bit lower than what you had demanded on your demand letter. This will show the adjuster that you are actually reasonable and willing to compromise. This will make the negotiating process go smoothly and you will reach an agreement that will satisfy both parties.
5. Demand for answers if the insurance company gives you low offer
If the insurance company gives you an offer that is far much below your minimum offer, don’t hesitate to demand for answers especially if you know your claim is worth more. Sometimes, some insurance company will give an offer that is far much below the offer that you had expected. If you are sure that your claim really worth more than what they have put on the table, you should demand the insurance company to give you specific reasons why they have given you an offer that is so low and take notes of each reasons that the adjuster tells you. Take your time and the next time you return to the negotiation table, ensure that you respond to each reason that the insurance company gave you for the low offer. However, you can also adjust your demands if you think that the insurance company outlined valid reasons but before you do so wait to see if the insurance company will change their mind and give you a better offer after you give them your replay.
6. Put more emphasize that works in your favor.
When communicating with an insurance company it is very important to put more emphasize on points that works in your favor. The mistake that many people who are settling an accident claim with an insurance company do is wasting time discussing undisputed facts. Instead of focusing on things that are not relevant focus on things that will work on your favor. For instance, if the accident caused injuries that will require lifetime medical care, focus more on how this issue has affected your quality of life as well as your financial security. In addition to that, if the accident made you to lose your well-paying job, reiterate on how losing your job has impacted you and your family. You need you to make it clear for the insurance company that they need to give you fair compensation for the injuries that you have succumbed as a result of the accident.
7. Put the settlement in writing.
After you have reached an agreement with the insurance company ensure that the settlement that you have agreed on is put into writing. The statement should be memorialize in a dated written contract and should be signed by both parties.