Ways to Maximize Your Settlement After a Car Accident
Car accidents can happen in a flash. One minute you’re fine; the next, you’re in pain. If someone else was to blame for the collision, California law allows you to file an injury claim to pursue financial compensation for your damages.
The claim process begins by working with the at-fault party’s insurance. You will file a claim demanding fair compensation for your damages, including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you haven’t anticipated.
Knowing that once a settlement has been accepted, you cannot go back and ask for more money is important. That’s why maximizing the amount you receive is essential to ensure you don’t struggle to rebuild your life following a car accident.
Factors that Affect the Value of Your Claim
Certain factors might affect the dollar value placed on your settlement, and it’s important to understand these factors to get a better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Some factors that can affect the value of your car accident settlement include:
- The severity of your injury: The greater your injuries, the more you could potentially recover in compensation.
- Property damage: If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you could recover compensation to repair or replace it.
- Lost wages: If you miss work due to your accident, you can claim compensation for the lost income.
- Pain and suffering: If your injuries cause intense pain, you may recover compensation for the suffering you endure after an accident.
- Your age: Younger drivers may receive more than older drivers because they have a longer life ahead of them and may have to live with their injuries for years to come.
- Your health: If you were already suffering from a debilitating injury, you might not be able to recover as much compensation.
- Settlement or Trial: You could get a higher settlement if your case goes to trial than if you accept a settlement. But you also risk losing your case in court and possibly not recovering anything.
- Insurance policy limits: You may have difficulty recovering full compensation in a settlement if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are less than the extent of your damages.
Ways to Maximize Your Compensation
The steps you take immediately after your car accident may determine what the other party’s insurance company is willing to compensate you. It is essential to understand your legal options and actions if you want to maximize your settlement. Certain things you must do to ensure you get the maximum compensation include:
- Seeking medical care as soon as possible.
- Collecting and preserving all evidence from the accident scene.
- Filing your personal injury claim as soon as you can.
- Not accepting the first offer from the insurance company.
- Keep all documents and records relevant to the case.
- Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Speaking to an accident attorney before trying to handle the claims process on your own is wise. Insurance companies can be very persuasive and try to get you to settle for the lowest settlement amount possible. Many injured people have settled for less than they truly need and deserve.
Why You Need An Attorney to Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Negotiating with the insurance company is the most difficult part of obtaining full compensation. If you have no legal experience and don’t know how to navigate the complex system, an insurer may take advantage of you or deny your claim altogether.
Your lawyer is your advocate and will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company denies your claim or does not settle it, your attorney can file a lawsuit and take your case to court. Your lawyer can continue to fight for a fair settlement and work toward getting you the maximum compensation possible for your damages.
Watch YouTube Video: Can I Trust the Insurance Company to Give Me a Fair Settlement? The video below explains why you shouldn’t trust insurance companies to give you a fair settlement for your accident claim.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Pleasanton, CA
I’m Ed Smith, a Pleasanton personal injury attorney. If you have been injured in a car accident or another type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you want our legal team at AutoAccident.com on your side. Call our law firm at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice.