Car Accident & Personal Injury Claims – How Do I Get the Best Settlement?
How to make sure you are fully compensated for your injury or car accident claim.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably have a variety of things you are currently worrying about. Transportation expenses, insurance companies, work, etc. We understand how stressful an accident can be, and we are here to help provide you with information regarding how to get the best settlement to help you back to your life.
Information Is Critical
The best thing you can have for a car accident claim is all the important information related to the accident. Information is directly related to your settlement. More information means a better settlement. If you followed our guide on what to do if you’ve been in a car accident, you’re well on your way. If not, here are the key items to have:
- Take pictures of everything – Injuries, The Scene of the Accident, Damage to Your Car or Property.
- Contact Information – (Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers) Of anyone involved with the accident, including drivers, passengers, & witnesses.
- Insurance Information – (Insurance Company Name & Policy Number) Of anyone involved in the accident.
- Law Enforcement – (Names, Badge Numbers, Police Report) of all officers that respond to the scene.
Even if the insurance company jingle says they’re on your side…they’re not.
Insurance companies, at the end of the day, are businesses with bottom-lines. Your car accident claim represents a hit to that bottom-line, so they will do everything they can to reduce your settlement. Common tactics insurance companies use are:
- Arguing that the car accident was completely or partially your fault. – Be very careful if they try to take a statement. Statements can be used against you to determine fault. If you are unsure what to say, a car accident lawyer can guide you through the process for free.
- Low-balling a car’s total value – If your vehicle is totaled, an insurance company issues you a check for what is considered the fair market value of the car. If you feel that the value is too low, you can provide your own research or hire an adjuster for a second evaluation. This information can help you appeal the insurance company’s offer.
- Delaying – Remember that statute of limitations to file an injury lawsuit for a car accident in California is 2 years. If you feel that an insurance company is dragging their feet by not returning your calls, transferring you to other agents or by other means, the best way to deal with them is too hire an attorney to go after them.
What Damages Can I Collect from Accident Claim?
For property damage claims, you may be entitled to collect damages including:
- Personal Property Damage – If any valuables were damaged in the accident, including phones, computers, bikes.
- Car Rentals – Many insurance companies reimburse you for a rental car if your car needs repairs after the accident.
- Other expenses – Uber, Lyft or Taxi rides from the accident scene or police station.
- Vehicle Damage – Any damage that was a result of the accident.
Remember that more information yields better settlements. Document all of your receipts, because the insurance company only pays based on proof.
Personal Injury Cases
The best way to pursue a car accident claim with an insurance company for a personal injury is with legal advice. A personal injury attorney can advise you on all the information an insurance company will try to get from you and what tactics they will use to reduce your settlement. Even if you don’t want legal representation, the advice is free, and can save you a lot in the long term. Dealing with an insurance company after a car accident can be very frustrating, and we are here to help guide you through the process.
An insurance company might try to go for a quick settlement, but we strongly advise speaking with an attorney before settling, to ensure you get the maximum settlement.