Published on May 15, 2015
Getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience, and your insurance company is supposed to help guide you through that difficult time by providing funds and support during your recovery. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The Tortfeasor’s (at fault party) insurance company will fight you every step of the way and work as hard as they can to underpay your claim, or avoid paying your car accident settlement at all. Here’s what you need to know before you get into this situation to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Wait To File
It’s natural to want to file your claim as soon as possible, so that you don’t have to feel that twinge of uncertainty every time you see a medical bill. However, you should wait until after you’ve recovered from your injuries before you begin settlement negotiations. In the aftermath of your accident you should get medical treatment and keep track of all the paperwork generated as a result.
Then, as soon as you can be considered fully recovered, or when the statute of limitations on your claim begins to approach, it’s time to put together your demand package. Doing this by yourself isn’t recommended because it’s likely that you’ll be too modest in your claims, and be left with an unfair amount of financial and emotional stress as a result.
Auto accident settlements are notoriously tough to negotiate, and often require professional help unless you’re willing to accept something significantly smaller than the average settlement for a car accident. As soon as you get a chance you’ll want to call one of our car accident or personal injury lawyers. They know the system and the local laws that can get in the way of your claim. Things can be especially tricky if you’re going to make a claim against a government entity. Being the government, they tend to have a number of special hoops that need to be jumped through in exactly the right way if you want to avoid having your entire claim thrown out. Additionally, one of our lawyers can advise you on what to demand in the first place.
It’s easy to ask to have your medical bills reimbursed, but when you’re setting up a claim for a car accident settlement, pain and suffering also need to be taken into account. You can use a car accident settlement calculator to get a basic idea for what you should demand, but your lawyer can give you a much better idea of what you’re owed, and what you can reasonably ask for.
Don’t Feel Intimidated
Insurance companies, governments, or businesses that you’re trying to win a suit against are going to try to intimidate you into taking an inferior deal. Many insurance companies will even send you a letter acknowledging your claim, but saying that they won’t necessarily pay anything. Getting car accident compensation is an extended legal dance that takes time.
Follow the advice of your lawyer and don’t accept any deal unless your lawyer agrees that you’ve gotten the best that you could.