Negotiating a car accident insurance claim can be one of the most challenging parts of the process. How do you know if what you are being offered is fair? Consulting Atlanta personal injury legal services at the Law Offices of Shane Smith can help protect your rights.
No one can predict when they will be involved in an accident. You could have just finished a nice meal at the Hard Rock Café and headed down Peachtree St. when you were struck from behind suddenly.
Crashes can happen anywhere, at any time, and when they do, you could find yourself with a huge financial burden. Consider the average cost of a possible injury at $12,600, a non-disabling injury at $22,300, and an incapacitating injury at $69,200, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
8 Tips for Negotiating a Car Accident Insurance Claim
- Know what type of coverage you have. This will help you understand how much can be recovered in a claim. Be sure also to look for any exclusion that may be in your policy, and take the time to look at other policies you may have that could provide coverage.
- Remember that the insurance company’s initial offer is often the lowest offer. It is almost never a good idea to accept the first offer, especially without first speaking with a lawyer. Insurance companies usually will try to get you to settle your claim quickly, and they obviously will attempt to settle for as little as they can. Don’t rush the settlement, and leave room for negotiating.
- Use any evidence you have to your advantage when negotiating a car accident insurance claim. It is much more difficult for the insurance companies to dispute a claim when you have solid proof of the other party’s negligence. Some types of evidence that can be helpful are a copy of the accident report, witness statements and photographs. Any documentation or information that can establish the other party’s liability can help.
- Make sure you have documentation (receipts and bills) of damages such as the expenses you incurred, lost income and any other injury-related costs. Keep a running tally of your financial losses. At the same time, don’t forget to include non-economic losses. For instance, if you are now disabled, you will want to negotiate compensation for that.
- Decide on a settlement range. Decide not only the highest figure that you hope to receive, but the very lowest you would be willing to accept as well. Keep that as a guide when evaluating offers and discuss it with your attorney.
- Keep all medical appointments when you are negotiating a car accident insurance claim. If you fail to attend appointments or if you don’t follow the doctor’s treatment plan, it could be used against you in a settlement.
- Watch what you post online. Many insurance companies will investigate a claimant’s use of social media to see if they can find something that may be used against you, such as photos that suggest your injuries aren’t too severe. Making comments online or posting statements about the accident is never a good idea. In fact, while negotiating a car accident insurance claim, avoid social media or at least significantly diminish the amount of time you spend on it.
Consult Atlanta Personal Injury Legal Services
- Finally, know when it’s time to seek legal advice. If your injuries were severe, there is a lot at stake financially, so consult a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith in Atlanta. Our personal injury legal services can assist with negotiating your car accident insurance claim. Call us at 1-770-487-8999 or 1-404-513-5415.