Car Accident Attorney: Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Law Blog

When you're involved in an auto accident, your primary goal is to feel whole again. Knowing how to negotiate with auto insurance companies can feeling overwhelming, especially after a stressful situation like a car accident.

Here are some of the ways that you can get a fair deal from auto insurance companies.

Insurance Adjuster

The driver who is found at fault in the accident bears the liability for any injuries or damages you sustained in the accident. The at-fault driver's auto insurance will normally call you within 48 hours of the accident.

The Process: Your claim process will start with a claim adjuster. They'll begin by asking you basic facts about the accident and outlining the procedures for submitting any bills associated with the accident. When you speak to the claims adjuster, stick to the facts of the case established by the police report associated with the accident. Don't volunteer information or speculate about bills that haven't been finalized yet. For instance, if you were transported to the hospital after the accident and were compelled to undergo tests, do not speculate about your total medical expenses until your bill has been finalized by your health care provider and health insurance company. This voluntary information can be used against you if your case goes to court, and speculating about medical bills can provide information that the claims adjuster can use to settle for a smaller sum.

The Decision: Once you have all of your paperwork and bills submitted to the at-fault driver's insurance company, the claims adjuster will make you an offer to settle your claim. It's important to remember that this initial offer is simply that, an offer. You should feel empowered to negotiate for a larger settlement if you feel like the claim doesn't fully account for the damages you sustained. For reference, you can access information about comparable claims recovered in your state for similar auto accidents.  Ultimately, if you accept the claims adjuster's deal, you will receive 100% of the proceeds. However, if you decide to reject the offer and file a lawsuit, you will split the money with your auto accident attorney.

Legal Settlements

If you decide to reject the auto insurance company's offer, your lawyer will file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Although this path can eventually end up in court, the vast majority of cases are settled long before the appointed court date.

The Evidence: To help you get the largest possible settlement from the insurance company, your lawyer will need all the evidence you can give them. You can start with obvious things, like medical and car repair bills, but you'll also need to consider damages that you might not have considered. For instance, if you missed work or had to reduce your workload after the accident, provide your attorney with pay stubs that reflect these changes. You may also have accrued additional child care or transportation expenses as a result of the accident. Basically, any way that you can tangibly translate how the auto accident has cost you money can be used to leverage more money from the insurance company.

The Cut: It's important to remember that your auto accident attorney is billing you for the time they spend on your case. Make sure that you're aware of how much money you will owe your lawyer; this money will typically be taken from your settlement. Make sure you keep detailed records of your communications with your auto accident attorney for your own personal records. It's also a good idea to read available reviews about your auto accident attorney before you hire them.

Contact a car accident attorney in your area to learn more.


9 April 2020

Do You Understand The Law?

When it comes to your personal rights, how much do you really understand the law. About ten years ago, I realized that I didn't really understand my rights when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do. I could tell that I needed to work with a lawyer who had a better understanding of what I was up against, so I contacted a local team that could help. They were really incredible to work with, and I was impressed with how well they were able to fight the charges. This blog is here for anyone struggling with legal drama.