A car accident happens so fast and is over in a few seconds. That is when the other issues arise. A car accident may cause damage to your vehicle or bodily harm to the driver.
Taking care of the car or driver after an accident can be taxing. It will mean spending money you did not budget for and taking your time away to heal. But, the good news is that you may be legible to negotiate a car accident settlement.
A car accident settlement will help cover the cost of fixing your vehicle and receiving treatment. The settlement covers only damages that result from the accident.
Before you can start negotiating a settlement, the cause of the accident will be investigated. If the accident is the fault of the other party, then you may receive a settlement.
Note that there is no fixed settlement price. Most times, the level of the damage is weighed before reaching an agreement. This means there has to be a negotiation process to agree on the settlement.
This negotiation can take a long time and may be a tiring process. Car accident settlements are not a daily occurrence for people living in Tampa. However, should you need help at such an unfortunate time, personal injury lawyers in Tampa are popular for handling such negotiations. In addition, they will help ensure that the process of getting a fair settlement is smooth and as fast as possible.
Negotiating Car Accident Settlements
There is no yardstick for negotiation, but some tips could help. The following are ways you can arrive at a successful car settlement.
- Have an Amount in Mind
There are different types of damages you can receive a settlement for. For example, you can get a settlement for medical expenses and car or property damage. You and the insurance company will have to assess the damages first. After this, you can add up all the bills and receipts for the damages incurred.
It is essential to fix a minimum and maximum payment range that will work for you. It is advisable to keep this range to yourself and not share it with the insurance company. This will assist you in obtaining a higher compensation.
Note that insurance companies will hardly give you more than you ask for. Sometimes, a claim adjuster will try to water down the situation. That is why you should start negotiating from a high range.
- Look Out for Insurance
It is important to understand the insurance policy that covers the vehicle. It is important to check this first. This is because there is no reason to negotiate without insurance coverage.
- Consider the First Offer
The first offer may be unreasonably low to cover the costs. This may tempt you to reject the offer outrightly.
You shouldn’t do that as it may just be a negotiating tactic. Instead, you can ask for a justification of the offer and write a response.
The response should point out reasons and evidence to support why you should receive more. You can also get an attorney for car accidents to help ask for more.
Sometimes you can consider the adjuster’s comments with an open mind as it may be a great offer.
- Keep It Professional
Sometimes, you may get familiar with the other party after several meetings. However, remember that it is advisable to keep your interactions professional. As you know, mixing business with pleasure hardly ends well.
Learn to keep your emotions under control during the process. Sometimes, a claims adjuster may hint that you are not injured. This could make you angry but never let your emotions get the better of you. In most cases, it is only a tactic to make you back down.
- Be Patient
A car accident settlement negotiation can take several months. This can become a draining routine. This is because fixing your car may seem to be taking forever. Also, you may have medical bills piling up. Through all these, it is important to remain patient during the process.
Sometimes, the adjuster deliberately delays the process to make you go with their offer. This is because they know that most people do not like delays. Always keep in mind the level of damages and the cost of repairs. This will assist you in resisting the urge to give up.
- Keep Track of the Process
It is advisable to keep a calendar of your interactions with the insurance company. Then, you can contact them if you do not hear from them after a few weeks. Ask them the settlement process is going.
Feel free to let them know you are only being patient but are waiting for their response. In some cases, the claims can be misplaced. This is why it is important to follow up on the process.
- Going to Court
Remember that you decide to accept or reject a settlement offer. First, you must make the right decision.
When making a decision, you should think about things like:
● The chances you stand to have if you take the issue to court.
● How much more you are likely to receive in court
● The expense of processing your claim in court
● How long the case will last in court and the uncertainty of a court ruling
When you consider these, you can decide whether to accept the offer and proceed to court.
- Accepting an Offer
A negotiation cannot end unless there is an agreement. Once you reach an agreement, send the details in a letter to your claims adjuster. To send the letter, it is essential to use registered mail and return receipt requested (RRR). This provides an essential legal record.
You will receive a release of liability letter from the insurance provider and a check soon after. If you need any clarifications about the terms of the agreement, ask before depositing the check.
- Get Professional Help
A claims adjuster is the most important person in obtaining a fair settlement. This is because the adjuster is in charge of negotiating your accident settlement. It will be good for your claim if you have a professional negotiator. An attorney for accidents involving cars can help you with the settlement process.
A car accident lawyer can also help you make the right decisions concerning the settlement.
Getting a settlement can lift the weight of fixing damages from your shoulders. Getting the negotiation process right is essential to getting a fair settlement.
It may seem easy from the start, but getting a car accident lawyer is advisable. The negotiation might get lengthier and tougher, but a lawyer makes the process easier.