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After a car accident, you will deal with insurers that will process your claim for damages. When the fault of the other party is apparent, you may receive a settlement offer from the driver’s insurance company to resolve the claim.
Naturally, most car accident victims do not know the true value of their damages and wonder whether the settlement offer they receive is a good deal or requires further negotiation.
Insurance companies will evaluate certain factors in a crash and its aftermath to determine the compensation a victim deserves under the policy. They often shortchange car accident victims, though, and a car accident lawyer can protect you from this practice.
A settlement offer is not just an arbitrary number that an insurer comes up with. They go over each category of damages and decide the losses they believe you have sustained. Insurance companies are not going to help you figure out these losses.
It is up to you to make certain they understand the damages that arise because of the accident, and it can be a difficult uphill battle to do so. Saying what you have lost is not sufficient in an insurer’s eyes, you must have proof of these losses and support for your claims. This is where a car accident attorney can benefit you greatly during the insurance claims process.
A victim will not always sustain every category of damages following a car accident. A lawyer, however, will determine if you lost something in each group. You must also determine if your losses will continue. In some cases, damages are not only your current losses but also the future loss you are likely to accumulate because of the long-term effects of the injuries you sustain in an accident.
The categories of car accident damages:
It may be a surprise to you when you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company in the days following an accident. You may feel tempted to accept the offer and move forward, but beware. Insurance companies know what they are doing, and they use tactics to offer settlements quickly and pressure victims to accept or miss out.
You are not missing out by refusing to accept the first offer of settlement by an insurance company. The insurance company will not be offering to compensate you for the entirety of your losses off the bat in your claim.
Whatever the insurance company offers you in the initial settlement, it is likely far less than what your actual losses will be and what you are eligible to seek compensation for under the law pertaining to car accident damages.
Do not take the first offer. If you have not sought out a personal injury car accident attorney, do so as soon as possible. A car accident lawyer will help you understand what your accident claim is worth and give you a more accurate estimate of how much damages you can seek against the insurer.
When you realize the settlement by an insurer is too low and they will not budge in your direction, there are likely other options for you. If you have not hired a car accident attorney, now is the time to do so, quickly. A lawyer can step into your case at any point and take over negotiations of your claim to try to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you already have an attorney but the settlement negotiations are proving to be unsuccessful, you will likely then move forward with a lawsuit in court. When insurers refuse to settle, it is not because you do not have a case. There are many motivations and tactics behind an insurance company’s decision not to settle with your demands. When the damages are too high, an insurer may take the gamble in court rather than pay damages to you without a fight.
If you feel nervous about your chances of resolving your case in a settlement negotiation without a lawsuit, it may ease your mind that most car accident victims do just that.
This message comes with a warning. In many of these cases, the victim has a car accident attorney that manages their case and negotiates with the insurance company. Going against an insurer solo is not likely to result in the same outcome. Even if you receive a settlement offer from an insurer without representation, the offer will likely be low and not be sufficient to meet your needs.
Yes. A lawyer provides invaluable knowledge and experience that will help your case and increase the chance you will recover the compensation you need following a car accident. Insurers love it when a victim does not have an attorney. When they know that a victim is not represented and has no intention of seeking counsel for their case, they will use that information to their advantage.
Insurance companies use all sorts of tactics to get you to settle on their terms or find a reason to deny your claim. An attorney knows your rights and will use their resources and knowledge of the insurance industry and the law to fight for your compensation.
Lawyers in a car accident case will take on tasks including:
There is no way to predict the outcome of a case. However, if you have a lawyer representing you in your case, the odds of recovery are far better than proceeding without legal representation.
You cannot undo the accident, but you can try to move forward. When you suffer injuries due to the negligence of another party, you must protect yourself, your finances, and your future. Seek a car accident attorney as soon as possible following a crash to prepare your claim, negotiate, and fight the insurance companies and at-fault parties for the compensation you deserve.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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