Negotiating a car accident settlement can be annoying and lengthy. The other party may not want to pay you at all or maybe devalue your claim. However, you should determine the cost of all of your damages before accepting a settlement. Los Angeles car accident attorneys can help you reach a reasonable settlement or represent you in court if required.
When negotiating, remember that you are well within your rights to ask for a fair amount. Even if the insurance company is unwilling to pay, you should not accept an offer that does not cover your damages as it will cost you later.
Tips for negotiating a car accident settlement:
1. Understand the insurance company.
Whether it is your insurer or someone else’s, no insurance company wants to pay you. It is in their best interests to avoid paying you or reducing your compensation as much as possible. This is because the longer they do not pay, the longer they get to keep the money in their pockets. Therefore, the first step is to understand that the insurance company does not want to help you.
2. Decide on a specific settlement amount.
Note down all of your damages acquired from the accident and calculate their worth. For example, calculate your entire medical treatment fees, lost wages, loss of future earnings, etc. Before initiating the negotiation, establish your total expenses as well as decide a minimum amount that you would be willing to accept if the insurance company offers a lower amount.
3. Highlight your strongest points.
Highlighting your strongest points can be a powerful move to achieving the compensation you deserve. For example, the other party is liable for the accident; you have suffered severe traumatic injuries, your medical costs are very high and more than you can afford, etc. You may also point out the emotional distress and how it affects you and your family’s quality of life.
4. Initiate the claim quickly.
You or your attorney should file the claim as soon as possible. It is understandable that many people are usually not in a state to think about finances when struggling with their injuries, but it will only help you in the long run. Moreover, winning a claim requires strong evidence, and the more you wait, the more evidence begins to disappear.
5. The first offer is useless.
The first offer is the lowest one, and it is usually made to see whether you are serious about receiving healthcare or if you are in a hurry. If you hurry and accept the first offer, it will cost you later as it may not be enough to cover your damages. For example, it may cover your medical bills but not your lost wages.
Written by Johnny Steele