Even the best driver is bound to get in a car accident sometime. Unfortunately, you can be the most careful person in the world and still have something bad happen to you. This is especially true when you’re on the road. After all, you cannot stop other people from behaving badly. If you have been the victim of a negligent or otherwise careless driver, you are probably dealing with a lot of stress. You need to figure out how to take care of any medical expenses and property damage you’ve incurred, and you might not know where to start.
Dealing with auto accidents can be confusing and complicated, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. You will need to take matters up with local law enforcement, the relevant insurance agencies, and maybe even seek out the help of a personal injury lawyer. You want to make sure you’re prepared so you can get the full compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of how to negotiate a car insurance claim.
You may feel like you were involved in the most open-and-shut case in the world. It might seem totally obvious to you that the other party should be held liable for the accident. However, judges and juries can only go off the evidence presented to them. Because of this, you should make sure you document everything you can—and you want to make sure you start this process as soon as you can.
Begin by taking down your own account of the altercation immediately. This will help you preserve the facts of your case, cement them in your memory, and prevent you from being swayed otherwise later on. Some people also find that it helps to tell the story to a trusted friend or family member. It’s important that you have a record of what happened—whether it be a voice recording or a written account. If you are able to find someone who witnessed the accident, even better! Just make sure to get a copy of their contact information in case you need to reach them later.
You will also want to document any injuries dealt to you as a result of the accident. This can encompass anything from taking photographs of the injured area(s) and keeping copies of your medical records and expenses to even taking notes on your emotional state after the accident. Remember that non-economic damages are just as valid and real as economic damages. This means that you may be able to collect compensation for any emotional suffering as well as physical injury.
Furthermore, you should also remember to keep proper documentation of any property damage you’ve incurred as a result of your accident. Repairs can be costly and time-consuming. You shouldn’t have to pay for anything that wasn’t your fault. Make sure to take note of your own vehicle and the other party’s as well. You can do this by taking photographs of both your cars after the crash. You want evidence of any damage that does (or doesn’t) exist. This will keep you from being held liable for any property damage that you didn’t actually inflict.
Many people are under the false impression that insurance companies are there to help out the injured party. This may be true, but only to a certain extent. At the end of the day, a company is a company—meaning that they’ll really only have their own best interests in mind at the end of the day. Remember, every dollar they pay you will come out of their own pockets. They have every reason to minimize your settlement offer.
Initial settlement offers are not ironclad. You have room to negotiate. In fact, you may even choose to reject the settlement offer altogether. At the same time, it’s important to be realistic and reasonable in your expectations. You may need to be willing to compromise.
Additionally, if you live in a no-fault state, you will usually be seeking reimbursement from your own insurance company (as opposed to the other party’s insurance company). Of course, like with many other situations, some exceptions may apply. For example, you may be able to pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company if they were at fault for the accident. However, this may also necessitate you to meet further requirements.
In any case, knowing what your case is worth is the only way you can get everything you are rightfully owed. It can be difficult or even impossible to do this on your own. Some websites may claim to be able to estimate the true value of your case, but there is no way they can really evaluate all the contributing factors in flux. Your best bet is to procure the help of a trusted car accident lawyer. They can help you assess your economic losses (such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages) and your non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of consortium). No two cases are the same—you need someone who will treat your case with the individualized care it deserves.
It can feel difficult and overwhelming to take care of an auto accident claim on your own, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. You need someone on your side you can trust. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone.
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country.
You should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide auto accident attorneys. We have helped countless clients successfully resolve their automobile accident cases. We can help you too. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.