Are You Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement?
If you’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault, your troubles are only just beginning. While you recover from your injuries, you will also have to negotiate your financial settlement with an insurance company that’s lowballing you and potentially an opposing lawyer who tries to prove that the accident was your fault.
For improved chances of recovering a fair settlement, working with an experienced personal injury attorney would be wise. But whatever you decide to do regarding legal representation, ultimately, the goal will be to recover the maximum compensation for your claim.
What You Should Do When Negotiating
Today we’re going to offer some tips for negotiating your car crash settlement.
If you’re working with a lawyer, they might echo some of these same points. But if you’re still deciding on an attorney, here are some things to consider while negotiating.
Keep All Negotiations, Agreements, Medical Bills, and Negotiations in Writing
Do not trust the memory or the word of those involved in settlement negotiations. Get everything in writing. Save all relevant documentation and bills, then make a note of where you’re keeping those documents.
Keep in Mind That Their First Offer is Not as High as They’re Willing to Go
The insurance company will not pay a single dollar more than they believe they have to. They will likely lowball you initially but may be willing to go higher as negotiations progress.
Start High and Work Down from There
While the insurance company will likely offer a lower settlement number than you’d like, you should consider asking for the highest amount possible for your claim. The name of the game is Compromise. Be prepared to negotiate and try to meet somewhere in the middle.
Hire a Lawyer
Yes, it might cost money to hire an excellent personal injury lawyer. However, that lawyer’s retainer fee might pay for itself, as claimants with professional legal representation typically collect much bigger settlements than those who do not. Your attorney will better anticipate potential issues with your claim while leading negotiations, giving you more time to heal from your injuries.
What You Should Not Do When Negotiating
Just as important as what you should do in negotiations is what not to do.
Don’t Trust the Insurance Adjuster: They’re Not On Your Side
The insurance adjuster may be one of the first people to arrive on the scene of a car accident. You do not need to speak with them at the crash site; you should not consider them an ally. Their job is to save the insurance company money.
Don’t Skip Medical Treatment or Disobey Doctor’s Orders
The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical treatment. However, if the doctor says that you must return for additional treatment, then you must do so. Failure to appear for treatments may be taken as an indication that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Don’t Tell Them Your Bottom Line
You might be tempted to tell the opposition the lowest number you’re willing to accept. Do not do this. For one thing, they might offer more than your bottom line.
Don’t Make a Recorded Statement Without Your Attorney Present
Just as you should not speak with the insurance adjuster at the accident scene, you should not make any recorded statements with the opposing negotiators without your attorneys present. These statements could be used against you and reduce the settlement amount you could receive.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Amount Immediately After the Offer is Made
Not only should you not accept the initial offer, but you should not be in a rush to accept any offer. You may be tempted to take a settlement in the urgency to collect your money and pay your bills. However, Universal Funds makes it easier to wait things out, providing settlement funding towards your expected recovery.
There is No Need to Discuss Pre-Existing Injuries
We have a tendency to downplay our injuries or offer too much detail about previous ailments as if to reassure others that we’re okay. Don’t do this. The insurance company negotiators may use your previous injuries against you and your claim.
Don’t Guesstimate Your Claim’s Worth
We encourage you to refrain from making uninformed guesses about the worth of your claim. Instead, use claim calculators available online to get a basic understanding of what your case might be worth. Then, speak with a lawyer for a more informed estimate about your unique case.
And Never, Ever Lose Your Temper
It’s normal to feel impatient or even frustrated with the negotiations. You know your claim is worth a certain amount, and it can be upsetting when the opposing party keeps offering smaller amounts. But do not lose your temper. If you have a lawyer, let them speak for you.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Universal Funds Today
Universal Funds is a lawsuit funding company that can help make the negotiation process more manageable. While you negotiate for the optimal settlement for your claim, Universal Funds can provide an advance towards your ultimate compensation amount. Gone are the days when injured victims had to accept the offer too soon in order to pay off expenses. With pre-settlement funding, you can pay off your bills while still aiming to recover more at a later date.
To learn more about how we can assist you during your negotiations, please contact our offices for a free consultation today. (484) 924-9323.