The car accident insurance settlement process can be complex. Insurance companies often try to settle for as little as possible. It requires legal knowledge as well as negotiation skills.
You deserve to have all your losses compensated. Work with an experienced car accident lawyer after a wreck to make sure the insurance company respects your rights to compensation. Call Petro Law Firm for help obtaining a car accident insurance settlement.
Car Accident Insurance Settlement Process
After a wreck, contact with the insurance company can be intimidating. The insurance company usually has a team of lawyers on its side, and their goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible. By becoming familiar with the car accident insurance settlement process, you can feel more secure about your situation after a crash.
Conduct an Investigation of Your Losses
Before asking the insurance company for a car accident insurance settlement amount, you should determine how much you have lost as a result of the wreck. This requires you to total your economic and non-economic damages. This may include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of relationships with your family
- Property damage
Once you have determined how much you have already lost and how much the wreck will cost you in the future, you can begin the negotiation process with the insurance company. You may have to work with economists, expert medical providers, and others who can help you understand exactly how much your car accident claim may be worth.
Send a Demand Letter
The first step your accident attorney will take in seeking a car accident insurance settlement is sending a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will state the details of your wreck and establish liability with their client. Then, your attorney may request a specific amount of money for settlement of your claim. It is unlikely that the insurance company will accept this initial offer; however, it will work towards an acceptable car accident insurance settlement.
The Insurance Adjuster Will Make an Offer
Whether you send a demand letter to the insurance company or not, the insurance adjuster may make you a car accident insurance settlement offer. However, this offer will likely be much lower than your original requested amount in the demand letter. If you didn’t send a demand, the amount will likely be much lower than you deserve. Insurance companies often make low-ball car accident insurance settlement offers initially in an attempt to make the claim go away.
You May Receive a Reservation of Rights Letter
The insurance company may send you a reservation of rights letter informing you that they are conducting an investigation of your wreck. The insurance company may also attempt to limit their responsibility by stating that their participation in negotiations and an investigation does not mean the insurance policy covers your situation. Do not be intimidated by this letter. You can still get a car accident insurance settlement by proving their client was liable for your injuries.
Ask the Insurance Company to Justify Their Low Offer
You do not have to accept the insurance company’s offer of a car accident insurance settlement. Instead, you can ask the insurance company to justify why their offer is so low. The insurance adjuster may present you with specific factors that were used to establish the car accident insurance settlement offer. Then, you can respond to these specific factors will information about the actual cost to you.
Get a Car Accident Insurance Settlement Offer in Writing
You may go back and forth several times with the insurance company in an attempt to obtain an acceptable car accident insurance settlement. You may have to use information from your investigation of your losses to show the insurance company the value of your claim. If the insurance company makes you an acceptable offer or they agree to your demands, then you should get the car accident insurance settlement in writing. Either you or the insurance company should produce a letter or document that specifically states the following:
- Parties involved;
- Amount of the car accident insurance settlement;
- Specific damages the settlement covers; and
- Date you should receive the settlement check.
Call an Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama for Help With Your Car Accident Insurance Settlement
It can be difficult to negotiate with a powerful insurance company when it comes to seeking a car accident insurance settlement. Instead of handling it alone, contact an experienced car accident attorney at Petro Law Firm today.