Getting the Most Money in Your Car Accident Settlement
Original publish date: November 25, 2013 (Updated)
You've just been involved in a car accident. Chances are you have a lot of questions on your mind, such as:
- How am I going to pay my medical bills?
- How can I afford to repair/replace my car?
- Can I afford to take time off of work to recover from my injuries?
These questions and more all find their resolution in your car accident settlement. After an accident, you will file a claim with your auto insurance company. The other driver(s) involved will do the same. The insurance adjuster will evaluate all of the evidence and arrive at a settlement. Sometimes, lawsuits are necessary to recover additional damages not covered by auto insurance. If you are having issues with the insurance company you may want to read how to handle a dispute with an insurance company after an auto accident.
Negotiating a car accident claim can be daunting even for the experienced attorney, but taking on this roll yourself can not only be daunting, but also gives the insurance company the upper-hand. The biggest variable after an accident is determining the value of "special damages", or pain and suffering. Believe it or not, no U.S. law exists that forces a claims adjuster to pay for pain and suffering. It is difficult to quantify the value of pain and suffering and without the knowledge of past case values it remains difficult for a victim self-representing a claim.
To get the maximize your car accident settlement, there are a few steps you can take. While taking these steps does not guarantee a big payout or the "most money" for your accident, they are an important component in building a strong case so that you do get the settlement you deserve.
- 1. Go to the hospital - Many people make the mistake of avoiding a hospital visit because they believe they won't be able to afford it. This is dangerous for a few different reasons. First, going to the hospital is important for your health and well-being. Second of all, going to the hospital after an accident establishes evidence that the accident did in fact cause you injury. Without record of injury close to the time of the accident, it can be difficult to recover bodily injury compensation.
- 2. File a timely and thorough claim - We can't stress the importance of this enough. Evidence tends to diminish or become less clear as time passes after an accident. Friedl Richardson firmly believes that car accident victims should take the time they need to go to the hospital and recover first and foremost. But as soon as you possibly can, we encourage you to report the accident to your insurance company and include as much information as possible.
- 3. Seek legal representation - It may be wise at this point to contact an attorney. During this phase of the claims process, insurance companies can begin to give you problems. While this is not always the case, our firm can deal with the insurance company for you. We can collect the evidence, file the necessary paperwork and whatever else it takes to build a strong case for your maximum car accident settlement. If necessary, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf to ensure that you get everything you are entitled to.
Knowing your rights will put you at a major advantage when it comes to maximizing a car accident settlement. If you decide to self-represent that make certain to take the appropriate time to educate yourself thoroughly on the in-and-outs of the process to maximize your settlement value. We have many articles on this website to help.