In Los Angeles, California, car accidents happen every day. Most drivers follow traffic rules to ensure safe driving. But some reckless drivers fail to adhere to these safety laws and cause car accidents.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, here are 5 useful tips for negotiating with your insurance company:
Keep Accurate Records of the Accident
One of the most important things you should do is to keep an accurate record of the accident. This file should include details about the accident including date, time, location, parties involved, and injuries sustained. Don’t forget to document and keep a copy of doctor visits, car repair bills, and anything else related to your accident. You’ll likely need to refer to these documents during negotiations and having them ready will be helpful.
Calculate a Fair Settlement Amount
Before sending a demand letter to your insurance, figure out how much you believe your claim is worth. Below are some items to consider:
- Doctor bills or medical costs
- Repair costs or cost to replace your vehicle
- Property that was damaged related to the accident
- Income cost as a result of your accident
- Pain and suffering you endured because of the accident
- Whether you will require long-term care
- Whether you are permanently disabled
Use this information to decide on the minimum settlement amount you’re willing to accept. If you’re unable to calculate or determine a fair amount, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help.
Don’t Take the First Offer
At first, the insurance company is likely to give you a low offer. An offer that is unreasonably low could be a strategy used by the insurance company to see if you understand what your claim is worth.
Ask the insurance adjuster to give you specific reasons about why your claim settlement is so low. See if they can justify the low amount offered.
Respond to each point explaining why you can’t accept the low offer. Wait and see if the insurance company will increase the offer. If their next offer is still too low, you can try to counteroffer with the amount you think is fair.
And make sure you get everything in writing.
Emphasize Your Strong Points
When negotiating with the insurance company, emphasize the strongest points that work in your favor.
For example: If you’ve been permanently disabled from an accident and require long-term care, highlight this point. Communicate how the accident has affected your quality of life and finances. If you missed work, reiterate the amount of wages lost due to the accident. By doing so, you’re making it clear that you need to be fairly compensated for your injury and related losses.
Know When to Hire a Lawyer
If you can’t reach a fair settlement agreement after trying to negotiate with an insurance company, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney can help evaluate your case and determine if a personal injury lawsuit is your best option.
Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Car accident victims have the right to claim damages against the party at fault. If you’ve been injured from an accident, an experienced lawyer at Mesriani Law Group can help you with your car accident negotiations. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.