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Auto Accident Settlement Negotiation Tips

Negotiating a settlement after a car, motorcycle, or tractor-trailer accident in which someone else injured you can be challenging. You want to secure the highest possible compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering from both your injuries and related medical treatment, costs of medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages and the use of leave time, and possible loss of earning capacity. However, the insurance company wants to avoid a significant payout. Its goal is to find ways to reduce the amount they have to pay for your claim.

Insurance adjusters review claims to determine whether they should settle with accident victims. They look at the person’s medical records, bills, and other evidence. They can deny the claim if they believe their policyholder isn’t at fault for the collision. Sometimes, liability is clear, but the adjuster disagrees with your assessment of the money you’re entitled to.

That’s where it gets tricky. Your attorney needs to enter negotiations with the experience and knowledge of how to deal with insurance companies and prepare for the pushback that will likely come. Below are settlement negotiation tips to improve your chances of adequate financial recovery.

Don’t Rush

After an injury, you want to settle your claim and use the money to pay your bills during treatment and get back on your feet. However, you should never rush to settle before you are completely well or have reached what is referred to as maximum medical improvement. You don’t know the extent of your injury in the beginning. It might take months or years to recover; however, don’t forget there is a two-year statute of limitations for most, but not all, motor vehicle accidents in Virginia.

Waiting to completely heal or for a doctor to advise you about the future care you might need is crucial. That way, you can factor potential future costs into your proposed settlement.

Prove the Impact of the Accident

You might struggle to complete basic tasks, do your job, or care for yourself after a car wreck. However, the insurance company isn’t going to take you at your word. Evidence of your claimed disabilities is necessary.

Keeping a pain journal is beneficial for documenting your symptoms and recording how they limit your physical or mental abilities. You should also note the time you miss from work or activities you can’t participate in due to your injury.

Maintaining records, such as out-of-pocket expenses, prescriptions, medical records, and invoices from hiring necessary household assistance can also help. Proving the extent of your injury and how it affects your daily life is essential to negotiate a fair settlement.

Consult a Lawyer Before Accepting the First Offer

Insurance carriers typically offer an initial settlement much lower than the claim’s value. Securing the compensation you deserve requires negotiation. You might have to go back and forth multiple times before arriving at a number that is fair.

Insurance adjusters want to close out the claim as quickly as possible. They often try to intimidate accident victims into taking less money than they should. The first offer is almost never the best offer available. Despite your eagerness to settle, accepting the initial proposal isn’t a good idea unless you talk to a car accident attorney and they advise you to take it.

Follow Treatment Recommendations

A doctor might recommend follow-up care after they diagnose your injury. You might require imaging tests, physical therapy, surgery, prescriptions, and other treatment. Following those recommendations is critical. You must attend every appointment until you heal.

Negotiating a full and fair settlement isn’t likely if the insurance adjuster sees that you delayed initial treatment or regularly skipped your appointments. They might assume your injury isn’t as severe as you claimed or you’re not taking your recovery seriously.

Hire a Lawyer Immediately

You don’t have to seek representation after a car crash. However, you should. Hiring a lawyer is one of the first things you should do after an accident. Treating an injury is overwhelming and requires your full attention. Piling on an investigation, discussions with the insurance company, and gathering evidence will likely overwhelm you. More importantly, even if you feel up to the task, most people don’t have the knowledge and experience to ensure they are doing everything that is needed to maximize the amount paid for injuries caused by someone else.

Your lawyer can handle every aspect of your claim, especially settlement talks with the insurance adjuster. They can also maximize the value of your claim to get you the money you need to compensate you for your losses.

Get Help with Your Auto Accident Claim

You can increase your chance of receiving the largest possible insurance settlement by contacting Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC. With over 45 years of legal experience, our team can successfully negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier. You can depend on us to fight for you.

If you sustained injuries in any type of motor vehicle or pedestrian accident due to someone else’s negligence, call Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC in Culpeper, VA, at (540) 825-6000 for a free consultation with a dedicated auto accident attorney who will be on your side and protect your rights.

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