There is no such thing as a standard fair settlement for a car accident, but it should at least pay for the repairs and medical expenses you incurred due to the collision. The amount is different in every case.
Based on your level of negligence, several states only let you keep a portion of your damages. Settlements differ from case to case, so speaking with an attorney who will assess your losses and project a reasonable payment may be helpful.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the average cost of an automobile collision involving property damage (PDO) is $3,862. In terms of costs, that is merely the tip of the iceberg regarding the medical and other expenses you need. Let us dive deeper into the step-by-step process of getting a fair settlement in a car accident.
The process of settlement
The settlement procedure starts as soon as an automobile accident occurs. You start by gathering details regarding the accident. Then, your attorney can utilize all of this material, including the facts and evidence, to build your case. The facts will support your allegations of harm and damage.
The following are examples of evidence and data to compile:
Information about what occurred, when and where the accident occurred, and if you can ascertain why it occurred. You won’t always be able to decide this. Still, your lawyer should be able to decide after reviewing the available documentation, the accident scene, and any expert witnesses of the accident scene.
Solid evidence at the scene
There is hard evidence, such as supporting documents. You require copies of the police report, witness testimonies, accident and car damage images, and witness statements. Keep a written account of the accident’s details and keep the documents safe so your accident lawyer can show them in court.
Additional supporting documentation
Your medical records will detail your injuries and recovery. Medical bills and other invoices document the financial expenditures for treating an injury. The strength of those claims is increased by a declaration attesting to your income losses and other financial consequences linked to your injury. Additionally, give proof of your pain and suffering.
Keep a record of any losses and damages
To receive reimbursement for your damages, you must have proof of them. Therefore, maintain thorough records of any medical costs, lost wages, and other monetary losses associated with the accident, your injuries, and your recovery. In addition, keep thorough records of your pain and suffering. For instance, what you can’t do because of your injuries, how much pain you experience each day, and whether you experience nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety attacks, or sadness.
Do not settle for the first offer
Insurance adjusters frequently start the negotiation process by making a very low offer. The adjuster is using this technique to test your comprehension of the value of your claim and your patience.
Your response to a first offer should be based on whether it is realistic or so low that it is a ruse to test your expertise. If the offer is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer slightly less than the amount in your demand letter. It would help if you easily reached a final settlement sum that you deem reasonable with a little extra haggling. Don’t waste time going over the details again during these conversations. Just highlight the most important details.
Discussion points with an adjuster
An insurance adjuster has the right to raise concerns and refute information during discussions to reduce your eligibility for compensation. Questions or disagreements may relate to:
Coverage: Whether the insurance coverage in question genuinely covers the accident.
Liability: Who caused the accident and whether you contributed to their negligence.
The severity of wounds: Whether a wound was permanently incapacitating or had long-term effects.
Type and scope of medical care: Whether the type and length of treatments or operations were medically necessary and whether you had conditions that led to the losses you claimed to have suffered (damages).
Accepting a Settlement
You have the option to accept or not accept a settlement proposal. Make sure everything is in any settlement offer before you accept it. Keep in mind the costs of out-of-pocket expenses, automobile rentals, damaged personal goods, and vehicle repair or replacement.
If you have suffered major physical harm, you should receive a professional estimate of the cost of your future medical treatment and expenses. Physical or mental injuries can occasionally take time to manifest. After you and any insurance companies sign the settlement agreement, whatever you did not mention will be impossible to recover.
When you decide, please write down the specifics in a letter and mail it to your claims adjuster via registered mail. This offers a crucial legal record. You ought to get a cheque and a letter of release of liability from the insurance company in a couple of weeks.
If there are no chances of an agreement, you and your car accident lawyer St Petersburg will enter litigation and a court trial. However, litigation is more expensive and time-consuming than using the settlement procedure to handle things.
Know when to engage an attorney
You can think about speaking to a personal injury attorney if you believe that discussions are not progressing as planned, especially if you want a settlement claim for severe injuries and suffering that requires more than a few thousand dollars for treatment. But unfortunately, when a claimant alleges damages of $20,000 or more, there are fewer chances that the insurance adjuster will take it seriously.
You’re using it for potential losses. For example, you might want a car accident attorney to help you negotiate a fair settlement if you claim lost future earnings or the expense of future medical care.
There is a matter of blame. If you doubt who was responsible for the first accident, you could require a St Petersburg car accident attorney to formulate your case effectively.
Role of a car accident lawyer
A skilled car accident attorney may handle various tasks throughout the settlement process. Meetings for mediation or arbitration may be used for pre-trial discussions and negotiations with all parties. Your search for a settlement continues once you have decided on the best lawyer to work with. You will meet with the lawyer and provide them with all the details and documentation of the auto accident.
The job of your car accident lawyer in St Petersburg is to advocate on your behalf and work tirelessly to secure the greatest result for you. Unfortunately, insurance agents work for the insurance provider and are interested in minimizing any payments; they are not on your side. Therefore, before speaking with your lawyer and discussing the case, refrain from saying anything to them.
What affects the settlement amount?
Although every case is unique, a few elements, such as negligence rules and the various statutes of limitations, may impact every case. The more at fault you are, the smaller your settlement will be. On the other hand, you could be eligible for compensation for your damages even if you did not fault the accident.
Keep in mind that you can dispute your degree of carelessness. For instance, you could present proof to dispute the insurance adjuster’s assertion that you contributed to the accident since you ate immediately before it, impairing your reaction time.
The very first step one must take after a car accident is to call for medical help and ask someone to click the photographs for evidence. All the legal procedures and settlement claim processes should be followed after getting the first medical treatment. Then, contact a professional and experienced personal injury lawyer to get a fair amount of settlement for your injuries and vehicle repairs.
Contact Coleman Law Group
Getting a settlement claim after a car accident can be difficult, especially if you were hurt or lost a loved one. However, hiring a lawyer at this challenging time is good as you need to focus on your treatment. Therefore, leaving the settlement work to a personal injury lawyer from the Coleman Law Group is better.
The Coleman Law Group is a group of experienced and caring accident and personal injury attorneys assisting accident victims and their families in obtaining just compensation. We are dedicated to giving our clients the support they require at every stage of the process because we recognize that getting hurt in an accident can be a drastically altering experience.
We assemble all the proof necessary to establish carelessness and support your case. Our accident lawyer can also represent you in negotiations with insurance providers or in court proceedings to try to get a decision in your favor.