Car accidents often lead to serious injuries, and you may need significant compensation to cover your lost hours, pain and suffering, and medical bills.
Armed with the following car accident settlement tips, you should hopefully receive more compensation for your injuries.
What Affects A Car Accident Settlement Claim?
Before we dig into how to increase your car accident settlement, we’ll review the factors that influence the sum you receive:
- Injury severity: Severe personal injuries make it more likely that the settlement will be higher. If you have broken bones, back injuries, head trauma, internal injuries, etc., your skilled personal injury attorney will make sure you get the money you need.
- The extent of property damage: Did you only have a fender bender or was the car totaled? If there was serious damage, you’ll probably get more money.
- Insurance coverage: This is an underrated factor in car accident settlements, but it’s important. Many at-fault drivers only carry the state minimum for insurance coverage – often only $20,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. If you have $100,000 in damages, you may receive less than you deserve.
Now, for how to get more for your car accident settlement:
Present The Best Possible Evidence
The car accident victim with the best evidence will always get a bigger settlement. Your proof will mean the difference between a large and small settlement.
So, if possible, get detailed pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and property damages. Turn that information over to your Arkansas car accident lawyer, or your legal representation wherever it is you are, so that they have copies that they will be able to use during negotiations.
Medical Expert Testimony
Also, you should select a personal injury attorney with access to the best medical experts. Insurance companies rely on expert medical opinions to decide how much accident victims should receive in compensation.
Your attorney should have a list of medical experts who will testify about the extent and severity of your injuries.
Don’t Take The First Offer
Once you’re represented by a personal injury attorney, they will handle the insurance negotiations. But if you attempt to negotiate the settlement yourself, never take the first offer. All insurance companies will offer you the lowest possible amount at first. Never take them up on it!
Once you agree to the settlement and sign the paperwork, the case is done. So, always have your attorney talk to the insurance company. They know the details of car accident settlement negotiations and will get more out of the insurance company.
Keep A Pain Diary
Say you broke your hip in a car accident when an SUV t-boned you in an intersection. You can’t walk for several months and when you move around, you’re in a lot of pain.
You may get more settlement money if you keep a pain diary. You should describe what each day is like, the pain you have, and how it affects your life.
You can even have someone take videos of you struggling to do things around the home. This is powerful evidence that can boost your potential settlement.
Avoid Social Media
Every car insurance company will act like your friend but they’re all the same: They want to pay you as little money as possible. They’ll do whatever it takes to pay you less.
One way they try to reduce your settlement is to check your social media profiles after the accident. If you claim you have a back injury and can’t walk, there will be a problem if your Facebook page shows you running around the block.
It’s best to simply stay off social media when your case is ongoing. If you must post, refrain from discussing the personal injury case.
The last piece of advice is to get a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner as soon as possible. Some accident victims are leery of paying an attorney, but you’ll almost always wind up with more money than if you go it alone.
Plus, personal injury lawyers are paid with a contingency fee, meaning they are paid from your settlement. This means you don’t have anything to lose by retaining a personal injury attorney after a car accident.