Injured people often feel overwhelmed after car accidents. The process of negotiating a car accident settlement seems like too much when you’re simply trying to recover from your injuries. But you deserve a high-value settlement because you have expensive losses like missed days of work, medical bills, and your wrecked car.
It’s common to feel confused and frustrated about the car accident settlement process. To ease your worries, let’s go step-by-step through successfully negotiating car accident settlements in California.
How to Negotiate Car Accident Settlements
Get the negotiations off to a good start by learning more about how the process works. Contact a qualified California car accident lawyer to discuss your options and which laws might apply to your case. From there, follow a checklist of things to do when negotiating your car accident settlement, as explained below.
Work closely with your lawyer to establish strong back-and-forth communication with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case. Build a rapport with them, but always speak and share information carefully.
It’s important to maintain control of the information in your case and only provide the details you and your lawyer have agreed upon. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters sometimes play mind games to gain access to your personal information and other details you don’t want to share.
Access Medical Care
As soon as possible after the accident, see a doctor about your injuries. A successful settlement usually requires evidence of medical treatment that was both reasonable and necessary due to the accident.
Create a Demand Letter
Negotiating a car accident settlement cannot proceed without something to negotiate. This is why you need to create a demand letter, which is a written document explaining your losses and justifying why you should be compensated for them.
Work with your lawyer to write your demand letter. Set out the story of your accident including how it happened and why the other person is at fault. Explain your losses in detail, including your medical costs, lost wages, pain, and chaos in your interpersonal relationships.
Your demand letter should also include the total monetary amount you’re demanding and your lawyer’s contact information. Submit it to the other person’s representative, then engage in back-and-forth negotiations as needed.
Have reasonable expectations about how much money you can reasonably claim and how much evidence you have to back it up. An experienced lawyer will have extensive experience with claims like yours and can advise you about the range you should expect from your settlement.
How to Get More Money From a Car Accident Settlement
There are several ways to maximize your case value and seek the highest possible level of compensation. Below are tips for increasing a car accident settlement.
Beware of taking the first offer from the insurance adjuster and don’t settle too quickly. Insurance companies tend to prefer providing lowball offers and settling fast, perhaps before injured people realize the full value of their claims. For you, patience will likely pay off in the form of a higher settlement value.
Include All Damages
Ensure your claim includes all possible damages the law will allow. In California, you can request car accident compensation for medical bills, ongoing care, vehicle damages, lost wages, future earnings, reimbursement for household chores, pain and suffering, and loss of physical intimacy.
Value Your Pain and Suffering
As you calculate the value of your claim, give your pain and suffering proper value. Don’t underestimate the impact of the accident on your ongoing physical and emotional state. Pain and suffering damages often comprise a significant portion of an auto accident settlement.
Choose the Right Lawyer
Make sure you select a lawyer with experience with car accident settlements in California. This is particularly important if your accident involves a specific circumstance like a collision with a semi-truck driver, rideshare driver, commercial delivery driver, scooter, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Be certain that your lawyer has experience with cases like yours and the talent it takes to conduct a strong negotiation for the highest possible case value.
Seeking an Auto Injury Settlement? We Can Help
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we care about negotiating car accident settlements skillfully to secure full and fair compensation. To learn more about your options, please call 877-380-8852 today and request a free car accident case evaluation.