After a car accident, victims have a lot to worry about, from physical injuries to medical bills to unpaid time off from work and insurance negotiations. Working with the insurance company can be difficult. It is important that you receive a fair settlement that will cover the cost of damages and injuries; this means you may need to be prepared to negotiate.
Don't be fooled.
Once you file your claim, an insurance agent may contact you offering you a settlement. The offer may seem generous, but you need to consider the total cost of your injuries. Oftentimes the insurance company will offer to pay for your medical treatments upfront. This means that they may want you to agree to a settlement right away, before the full extent of your injury is determined.
What you need to consider is the long-term care you may need. This may include more surgeries down the road or physical therapy to help you heal properly. If you settle with the insurance agency right away, you may be missing out on coverage for injuries that occurred because of the accident.
If you accept an offer, in some cases, this waves your right to file a lawsuit. You will need to be prepared to negotiate with the insurance company. It's advised that you seek help from a lawyer who can assist you in determining the costs of the accident -- and to help you deal with the insurance company.
Know what your claim is worth.
A common strategy for insurance companies is to make a "low ball" offer. In most cases you shouldn't accept it. Even though it can be difficult to place an exact number on your claim, there are some tactics commonly used to determine a "ball park" estimate.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much your case is worth. Insurance companies know you're in a vulnerable positiion, and they may try to take advantage of that. You want to receive a fair settlement, and a lawyer can help negotiate on your behalf while you focus on healing.