If you are involved in a car accident, you’ll discover it is challenging to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company as compensation for your injuries and financial losses, as well as any pain and suffering.
A claims adjuster, on the other hand, wants to settle your case for as little as legally possible.
The best way to maximize your car accident settlement is to retain an experienced personal injury attorney. This guide also highlights other tactics to help you get the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries.
1) Keep Precise Records of the Accident
If your case goes to trial, the jury will decide the case by examining all supporting evidence. Even when the insurance company decides to offer you a pre-trial settlement, the value of that settlement will be based on the strength of your case. The more evidence you can provide, the better.
Photograph the accident scene extensively. Also take photos of your injuries if possible.
Gather names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as practical.
Once you have assembled the above, your attorney can then follow up on all contact information, collecting detailed witness statements as they start preparing your case.
2) Take photos of all key elements in your case
Use your smartphone to photograph the accident scene, making sure to capture the surrounding area and all damage.
You could also take some video of the accident scene.
The more visual footage you have to provide context to the accident scene, the more robust your case will be.
3) Do not release your medical records to the other party’s insurer
An insurance adjuster, also known as a claims adjuster, is an evaluation specialist employed by the insurer to evaluate your claim’s validity.
Claims adjusters are trained to locate loopholes in arguments and to use these against you in the case.
Avoid sharing any sensitive private information with insurance adjusters, particularly medical records. The adjuster could easily use parts of the medical data against you. Apart from your accident injury lawyer and your insurance agent, you should not divulge your medical files or automobile data.
4) Never let the claims adjuster pressure you into prematurely settling your case
Claims adjusters frequently try to pressurize victims into settling for a certain amount immediately after the accident.
If an out-of-court settlement offer is fair and reasonable and you are confident of the extent of your injuries, it can be beneficial, saving you the hassle and uncertainty of taking the case to trial.
Make sure, though, that you do not accept a lower settlement than you deserve, and do not accept part-fault for the accident.
5) Keep a detailed journal of all your personal injuries
If you sustain injuries in a car accident, some symptoms may not manifest for some time.
To accurately demonstrate the scope and severity of your suffering, keep a journal of the injuries and the effect they have on your life.
6) Keep all receipts and bills related to your accident
Be methodical about the receipts and bills for all your accident-related expenses.
When your attorney is calculating economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, supportive documentation makes this calculation easier.
7) Know your insurance policy, its coverage limits, and your sources of insurance
You should acquaint yourself with your insurance policy, including any coverage limits in place. Regardless of any other factors, no insurance company will offer a settlement award greater than the underlying policy limits.
Beyond this, you may find there are several at-fault parties in the accident. If so, you could collect accident damages from more than one at-fault party.
If you find yourself involved in a complicated auto accident scenario, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate the most efficient path to fair and reasonable compensation, even if you are dealing with multiple insurance companies.
8) Remain under your doctor’s care until you are released
Often, victims of accident injuries fail to fully account for the damage caused by the collision, pausing treatments before achieving maximum medical recovery. While this is understandable, it’s also inadvisable.
Not only will completing any prescribed procedures maximize your chances of a seamless, full recovery, but it will also be beneficial for the purposes of your personal injury claim.
9) Get an experienced trial lawyer to evaluate your case
If you suffer injuries in an auto accident, ask an experienced trial lawyer to evaluate your case. Many will offer a free assessment and will then charge fees on a contingency basis, meaning you’ll pay nothing unless you win your case.
An experienced lawyer can often help you negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement before your case goes to trial. Alternatively, a trial lawyer can guide you through the intricacies of the legal system and help you to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, economic losses, and any pain and suffering experienced due to the accident and its aftereffects.
10) When you decide to retain a lawyer, choose a trial attorney who is not afraid to go to court
Take your time when choosing your legal counsel. Ensure that any attorneys on your shortlist are unafraid of going to trial.
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