Being involved in a car accident is one of the worst experiences a person can go through. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this situation every year. After the initial shock of the accident has worn off, you need to start thinking about how you can dust off and get back on your feet.
One of the ways to do this is by seeking a car accident settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages. While no amount of money can make up for the physical trauma and inconvenience of being in an accident, getting a reasonable settlement can help you get back on your feet.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money. That means they aren’t always willing to offer you a fair settlement. In fact, they have hired a team of experts trained to ensure they pay out as little as possible.
Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your car accident settlement to get the compensation you deserve. Here are five tips for getting a fair settlement and putting yourself in the best position to succeed:
1. Document Everything
One of the best ways of maximizing your settlement is to document as much of the accident as possible.
Take pictures, get witness statements, and ensure you have a clear record of what happened. This will help strengthen your case if it goes to trial or helps you negotiate a larger settlement amount.
Don’t leave out any detail. Take notes on the accident’s time, date, and location, any weather conditions that existed at the time, and any other relevant details.
2. Keep a Journal of Your Pain and Suffering
Lost wages, hospital bills, and other economic damages are easier to calculate and document. But what about your pain and suffering?
Keeping a journal of how the accident has affected you emotionally, mentally, and physically is essential. This will help you show the extent of your suffering when trying to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Remember that it can take several months or even years to resolve your case. You might lose track of how the accident has affected your life over time, so it is essential to document these details as soon as possible.
Document all the rehabilitation and medical treatments you have had as a result of the accident and the hobbies you have had to give up.
3. Hire a Car Accident Attorney
It can be tempting to try and handle your own case when it comes to negotiating a car accident settlement.
But it is important to remember that insurance companies have teams of lawyers working on their behalf.
The best way to level the playing field is by hiring an experienced car accident attorney. They will know how to properly document your damages and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Your attorney will assess the accident’s overall impact and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
4. Tell Your Doctor Everything that Hurts
One of the first things you need to do after a car accident is to get medical attention. But it is crucial to remember that the more information you provide your doctor about your injuries, the better.
Don’t hold back when talking about any aches or pains you feel, even if they seem minor. The insurance company will look for any details you don’t mention to try and reduce your settlement.
Keep your doctor updated on how you even as you progress with your treatment. Some car accident injuries, such as whiplash, can take several months to show up and can be challenging to diagnose.
5. Don’t Accept the First Offer
Insurance companies are well aware of how to save money and will try to offer you a quick settlement. In most cases, the first offer they give you is not fair or reasonable.
An experienced attorney can help you understand the value of your case and what kind of settlement you should be asking for.
6. Be Patient
It can be incredibly frustrating waiting for your case to be resolved. But rushing into a settlement or insisting on going to trial too soon can hurt your chances of getting a favorable outcome.
Your attorney will help guide you through the process, but it is essential to be patient and remember that a fair settlement takes time.
7. Avoid Posting Anything on Social Media
The truth is that we are living in a highly digital age. Social media can be a great way to stay connected, but it can also hurt your case if you are not careful.
Insurance companies often look for any evidence that might reduce the amount of money they owe you in a settlement. This includes checking your social media accounts and public posts for anything that could contradict your story or diminish the severity of your injuries.
For instance, if you post pictures of yourself running a marathon, the insurance company could try to argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claim.
Therefore, it is best to avoid posting anything related to the accident or your recovery on social media until the case has been resolved.
It is also a good idea to ensure your privacy settings are up to date so that only friends and family can view your posts.
8. Get a Police Report
Get a copy of the police report filed after the accident, as this can be used to validate your case.
The report will have information about the other driver and any citations they received for the incident. It can also be used to establish who is at fault in the accident and provide evidence of negligence.
The police report will be available at your local police station or through the court records department. You can also hire an attorney to help you get a copy of the report if necessary.
Navigating a car accident settlement is often a confusing and daunting process. Understanding your rights and being prepared when dealing with insurance companies is essential. Your primary goal should be to get a fair settlement that will provide you with the necessary funds to cover your medical costs and car repairs.
Hire an experienced attorney who can help you understand what type of compensation you are entitled to, ensure all documents are properly filled out and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Remember to stay patient and avoid posting anything on social media until your case has been resolved. With the right approach, you can get the rightful compensation you deserve.