How the Negotiation Process Works in Car Accident Cases
In some car accident cases, negotiating with an insurance company can be fairly straightforward. This is especially true if you have minimal property damage and minor personal injuries. In these cases, you may send a demand letter, the insurance company argues your demand is too high, you respond to these arguments, the insurance company makes a counteroffer, you either accept or don’t accept, you make a counter-demand…and so the negotiation process unfolds.
However, if the prospect of negotiating with an insurance company is overwhelming, or an insurance company has refused to pay you a fair settlement for the injuries you sustained in a car accident, an experienced Georgia accident attorney is usually the best way to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your accident. Below are some helpful tips for negotiating a settlement for your auto accident claim. This information is offered as a professional courtesy and not as legal advice. If you want to be certain that your car accident claim is properly negotiated, it is generally best to retain an experienced attorney.General Tips for Settlement Negotiations
- Initiate your claim as soon as possible after a car accident. It is important to start your claim as soon as possible so that you can recall details about your accident and accurately report any injuries or property damage that occurred.
- Keep accurate records about your accident and injuries. Your records should include your police report, medical treatment, car repair bills, photographs and anything else relevant to your accident.
- Calculate a fair settlement. Factor in the cost of your medical care, the amount of income you lost as a result of your injuries, whether you are permanently disabled, pain and suffering, and the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. There are other items that sometimes can be included in a settlement demand, such as punitive damages and attorney's fees. However, you must have a thorough understanding of the law to know when such damages are recoverable.
- Send a detailed demand letter to the insurance company. A lack of detail or lack of evidence supporting your claims can prevent you from getting the settlement you deserve.
- Do not accept the first offer. In most cases, an insurance company’s first offer will be unreasonably low. This is a tactic to see if you know how much your claim is worth, and to see how eager you are to settle your claim.
- Get everything in writing. Take detailed notes of all of your conversations and correspondences with the insurance company. Ask for all settlement offers in writing. If and when you reach an agreement, make sure it is formalized in a written, dated contract signed by all of the parties involved in the agreement.
Legal representation can help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a car accident, even if you have no intention of going to court. For help with insurance settlement negotiations, please contact the Atlanta car accident attorneys at KWF today at (404) 461-0101. All information is kept strictly confidential and you pay no attorneys’ fee unless we successfully resolve your case.