Every car accident results in financial loss, minor or substantial. The law often requires the at-fault driver to compensate the other driver for these losses. To decide on the compensation amount, both parties may resort to a settlement negotiation process.
If you aren’t skilled at negotiating car accident settlements, you may leave with less than you deserve. This is why it is essential to engage a Maryland car accident lawyer who has experience negotiating many such settlements before.
4 Tips on How To Get the Best Car Accident Settlement
Getting a reasonable settlement is easy if you bear the following points in mind.
Have a Fixed Settlement Price in Mind
Before going to the settlement negotiation table, it would help if you settled on a definite amount you want for your claim. This price is what you believe to be the cost of your claim. You can arrive at this figure by calculating the financial value of all the damages you sustained in the crash.
It would be best to have a minimum amount that you can accept, and then you revise it upwards from where you’ll start negotiating. Do not reveal your minimum acceptable offer to the insurance adjuster. If you do, the adjuster will work hard to peg your car accident settlement at that number.
Have Your Evidence Ready
Nothing beats negotiating when you have sufficient evidence to back up your claim. It will help to show that you aren’t making an arbitrary claim. It also strengthens your bargaining position. So, never leave an accident scene without gathering any evidence.
Look out for physical evidence, talk to witnesses, take pictures, etc. It would also be best to document your injury and medical treatment history. But don’t show your medical records to the other party. The reason is that they can use your medical data against you.
The insurance adjuster will play mind games with you during the car accident settlement negotiations. The aim is to test your patience and know if they can get you to collect less money with delay tactics.
Usually, your claim is worth far more than the first offer they make. So, don’t jump at initial offers. Wait for them to go higher. In rare cases where the insurance company makes a reasonable first offer, it would be best to counter with a fair amount too.
If the adjuster makes an unreasonably low offer, ask for the reasons for such an offer. The answer may help you in the bidding process. Don’t reduce your demands too much. Never lower your claims more than once without a counteroffer from the adjuster.
If the negotiations are at an impasse, wait for a response from the insurer before making a lower offer. If you’re in haste, you won’t get the right amount. Insurance companies play the long game, so you have to be patient.
Know When to Involve a Lawyer
Indeed, you don’t need a lawyer to get a fair car accident settlement for the damages you suffered. However, it would be best to engage the services of a car accident attorney at some point in your settlement process. A great lawyer can help you if:
- Your Compensation Claim is High: Where you’re asking for more than a couple thousand dollars, it would be best to have a lawyer with you. Without one, an insurance adjuster will be reluctant to make any concessions.
- You’re Claiming Future Damages: If you’re claiming loss of future earnings and future medical expenses, you will need an attorney to help you draft an airtight settlement agreement.
- The Other Driver Denies Being at Fault: If the other driver denies responsibility, it will help to hire a lawyer to properly draft your arguments proving that you didn’t cause the accident.
- You Want the Settlement in Writing: Signing a written contract is another reason to hire a lawyer. After agreeing on a settlement price, do not leave on the strength of an insurance adjuster’s promises. Put the agreement in writing and let every party sign it. The written agreement can be as short as a letter, but it will still serve as sufficient proof.
Pinder Plotkin Lawyers Can Get You a Good Car Accident Settlement!
If you were in a car accident and suffered damages, you deserve compensation. You can decide to deal with insurance companies or go to court. Whichever option you choose, it would be best to allow a car accident attorney to represent you during the process.
At Pinder Plotkin, our attorneys have won millions in settlement for car accident victims. We have the required experience and expertise to get you the money due to you. Call us today for a FREE consultation on your case.