How Do You Get a Fair Settlement From an Insurance Company?
By Space Coast Daily // October 4, 2020
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be out of work and concerned about how you will take care of your family financially.
The good news is that you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries. You may also be eligible for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages if the driver at fault was careless or negligent.
In order to receive a settlement that is fair and will cover your costs, you’ll need to think proactively. In a car accident, after making sure everyone involved is safe, you need to start collecting evidence.
If you aren’t seriously injured, you’ll want to start doing this immediately at the scene of the crash. Take photos and video footage and get witness statements, then follow these steps.
File a Claim Immediately
Once you’ve made sure everyone is safe, the next thing you’ll need to do after an accident is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Contacting them quickly means you will have the details of the accident fresh in your mind. Although your initial injuries may be apparent, there may be some diagnoses that you may not learn until later.
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Keep Accurate Records
It is very important to keep accurate records about your accident and injuries. If you fill out any forms when you miss work, you will want copies of those forms.
Ask for a copy of the police auto accident report, and keep any paperwork given to you by our doctor. It is recommended that you either use a file folder or a notebook to store all the paperwork in one location so it is easy to access.
Writing a statement of what happened soon after the accident is also recommended as you may forget details as time goes on.
Determine What You Feel is a Fair Settlement
Although it may be difficult, it is helpful if you have an idea of what you think a fair settlement may be. You need to consider:
• Cost of medical care and related expenses
• Damage to your vehicle or other property that was damaged
• Disability, whether permanent or temporary
• Lost income
• Pain and suffering after the accident
Your lawyer and the insurance company will either use the per diem, or per day, method of calculating the value of your pain and suffering or they’ll use the multiplier method.
This will be a number between one and five that will be assigned based upon the seriousness of your damages. The more serious your injuries, the higher the multiplier will be.
Do Not Accept the First Offer
Remember that the insurance company wants to offer you as little as possible and will more than likely offer an extremely low settlement initially. Ask the insurance adjuster to justify how they came up with the amount and to provide you with reasons why the amount is so low. Once the adjuster provides you with details, respond to each point explaining why the offer is not acceptable.
If the first offer is reasonable but still lower than you feel it should be, counter with an offer that is slightly lower than what you wanted to see if they accept it. Focus on what is important to you.
Keep in mind that if you suffered an injury that may cause you difficulty for the rest of your life, you need to be compensated for future care as well as your current care. If you missed a significant amount of work because of your injury, you will want to recover those costs as well.
If you have been injured in an accident, a car accident attorney will work with the insurance company to get you the compensation you are entitled to under the law. You should not talk to the claims adjuster without your attorney’s help. They may try to trick you into saying something that will result in a lower claim.