A typical car accident settlement compensates injured parties, pays for the cost of damage property and covers other expenses related to a car accident. How much you will receive as a result of a car accident will vary greatly depending on the details of the accident and the kind of coverage you and the other driver carry.
Settlement negotiations are part of the typical car accident settlement process. If you do not feel confident as a negotiator, you can hire someone to handle the negotiations for you. You will submit a letter of demand, outlining the costs associated with the accident, including but not limited to:
- Medical bills incurred and anticipated;
- Lost earnings or earning capacity, both incurred and anticipated;
- Property damage, including damage to your vehicle and other personal property;
- Pain and suffering damages if the accident caused you to suffer unduly; and
- any other damages that are covered expenses or other expenses for which you would like to be compensated.
You may be required to provide documentation to your insurance for any of the expenses for which you are asking to be compensated. After you place your demand, your insurance will respond to it. This is usually going to be an amount lower than what you have asked for in your demand.
This process can go back and forth for several weeks depending on your willingness to continue to talk it over with your insurance company.
Your Bottom Line
It is wise to go into negotiations with a bottom line in mind. You, of course, want to aim much higher than your bottom line, but if you have a number that is a deal breaker, you should build your negotiation strategy from there. You will likely be given less than your initial asking compensation, so make sure you plan accordingly. An attorney can assist you with coming up with a detailed negotiations strategy.
Getting Legal Advice
An attorney familiar with personal injury law can help you get through the settlement process and receive the compensation to which you are entitled. An accident can be stressful, especially when it comes to the settlement phase. An attorney can handle your insurance and many other details of the process on your behalf. He can also help you assess the amount you can expect to receive in settlement and whether a trial would be in your best interests.