How to Get the Most Money from a Car Insurance Claim

Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Even if you were not at fault, making an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company can feel overwhelming. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators whose job is to pay you as little as possible to settle your claim. Without proper guidance, accepting the first low offer could result in missing out on thousands of dollars you deserve.

This article provides tips on how to successfully negotiate with the insurance company to get the maximum settlement or award for your car accident case.

Seek Legal Representation Right Away

One of the biggest mistakes accident victims make is trying to handle negotiations alone. Insurance adjusters know that unrepresented claimants are easier to take advantage of. An experienced personal injury attorney levels the playing field and prevents you from accidentally saying something to jeopardize your claim. Your lawyer can handle all communications and make compelling legal arguments for a higher settlement.

Think About a Settlement Amount

Before negotiations begin, you and your lawyer should determine a reasonable settlement amount that covers your financial and non-economic losses. Gather evidence to support your injuries, lost income, medical bills, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. Thinking through settlement goals ahead of time makes you better prepared to counter low offers.

Be Cautious About What You Reveal

Insurance adjusters are trained to gather as much information as possible from claimants to use against them later. Politely decline to answer questions about the specifics of the accident or your injuries. Refer the adjuster to speak only with your attorney, who will provide information strategically to strengthen your negotiating position.

Don’t Necessarily Accept the First Offer

The first offer from the insurance company is usually much lower than the claim is worth. Be prepared to negotiate and make counteroffers with the help of your attorney. Provide evidence to justify asking for more money. You hold more leverage than you may realize.

Request Justification for a Low Offer

If the adjuster says they cannot offer more than a certain low amount, ask them to explain exactly how they arrived at that number. Make them provide proof to back up their position. This can reveal weaknesses that your lawyer can then attack to negotiate a higher settlement.

Highlight Emotional Impact

In addition to financial losses, emphasize the emotional toll the accident has taken through pain, disrupted lifestyle, fear of driving, etc. These non-economic damages can significantly increase your payout. Vividly explaining how the crash has impacted your life makes it harder for adjusters to minimize your claim.

Be Willing to Take the Case to Trial

As a last resort if the insurance company will not budge, your attorney can threaten to take the case to court. The possibility of a large jury award and lengthy trial motivates most insurers to settle for a higher amount beforehand. You have more leverage than you think.

Hire an Experienced Negotiator

An aggressive car accident lawyer levels the playing field against crafty insurance adjusters. Do not leave money on the table by trying to negotiate your injury settlement alone. The bold attorneys at Roberts & Jones have recovered millions of dollars for clients through relentless negotiation tactics. Let us fight to get you every penny you deserve.

Gather Evidence From the Accident Scene

The key to getting fair compensation is proving the other driver’s liability through solid evidence. If you are physically able, collect the following at the scene:

  • Take photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, and surrounding area
  • Get contact info for witnesses
  • Note weather and road conditions
  • Document injuries with photos
  • Keep medical records, bills, and expenses

Thorough evidence makes it much harder for insurance companies to deny or minimize your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

Even if you don’t feel hurt right after the crash, you should still get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. This documents your injuries were caused by the accident. Delayed treatment gives insurance companies reason to dispute your claim.

Do Not Discuss Your Case on Social Media

It’s natural to want to vent about your accident experience on social media. However, this gives valuable ammunition to insurance companies. Avoid posting anything about your case until it is fully resolved.

Track Lost Wages from Missed Work

Major injuries often require significant time off work for recovery. Keep detailed records of lost hours/income, sick days used, and expenses incurred from missed work. This provides solid evidence for recovering your lost wages.

Know What Type of Damages You Can Claim

There are two main categories of accident compensation:

Economic damages – Out-of-pocket losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair/replacement costs.

Non-economic damages – Harder to quantify impacts like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, mental anguish, disfigurement, etc.

An experienced attorney will make sure you receive every type of damage you deserve.

Document the Severity of Your Injuries

The more evidence available about the extent of your injuries, the higher your potential payout. Keep a journal detailing symptoms, pain levels, treatment, limitations to your daily activities, and all other impacts from the crash. Photos can also illustrate visible injuries over time.

Understand the Value of Your Claim

The value of car accident claims depends on factors like:

  • Type and severity of injuries
  • Length of recovery time
  • Amount of missed work
  • Degree of liability and negligence
  • Insurance policy limits
  • Permanence of disability or disfigurement
  • Emotional impact and loss of quality of life

An attorney experienced with car accident settlements can advise you on what your particular claim may be worth.

Do Not Accept an Early Settlement

It may be tempting to accept the first settlement offer just to put the ordeal behind you. But this is almost always a mistake. Wait until your attorney has fully built your case through settlements often increase significantly.

Remain Firm When Negotiating

Never let an insurance adjuster sense that you are desperate or willing to settle for less. Be firm in asking for what you deserve. If negotiations reach an impasse, show you are willing to take the case before a jury if needed.

Getting fair compensation following a car accident takes precise negotiation tactics. The attorneys at Roberts & Jones have recovered over $1 billion for injury victims. Let us handle the conversations with insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery. We will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to get you every dollar you deserve.

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