Get the Most Out of a Car Accident Settlement
A car accident settlement can be one of the toughest negotiations you’ll ever encounter. Don’t go into it without backup, in terms of evidence and representation.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
There’s no reason to delay the start of the negotiation process with the insurance company after you’re healed (or healed enough to devote time and energy to the process). Make sure you have all your evidence in place and organized, such as:
- Police reports.
- Medical records.
- Witness statements.
The more detailed these records, the better — you don’t want to leave any stone unturned in getting enough in the settlement to cover your losses.
Aim a Little Higher Than Necessary
The first rule of negotiating a car accident settlement is similar to bartering: figure out a fair price, and start negotiations a minimum of 25 percent above it. The insurance company will undoubtedly come back with a lowball offer. If after several rounds of negotiation, no agreement is reached, you may be headed for court. It’s up to you to decide if the insurance company’s final offer is truly too low or if it’s close enough to your goal to not draw out the process any longer than necessary.
Don’t Lose Your Temper
The insurance representatives will resort to several tactics to get your emotions riled up, including minimizing the severity of your injuries. Don’t fall for it. Remain calm and stick to the facts to maximize your car accident settlement.
Don’t Go on Record(ing)
If an insurance adjuster requests that you make a recorded audio or video statement, don’t. Remember “anything you say can and will be used against you,” and the nervousness you experience while being recorded could trigger the tendency to talk more than you normally would.
Don’t Wonder Why
The whole process of negotiating a car accident settlement can seem convoluted and at times, make no sense. That’s why it’s a good idea to have experienced representation to stay focused on the task at hand, maximizing your settlement to cover your expenses.