Act Promptly and Smartly to Win an Accident Settlement

Jul 14, 2014 by

When my brother met with an accident, I realised the importance of accident settlement. We were running from pillar to post trying to arrange money for my brother’s treatment and medical expenses. Hence, I think it is important every person knows his or her rights and also knows the finer points that can help a person win an accident settlement.

Accident Emergency
Image: flickr.com/photos/lydiashiningbrightly

Be Aware of your Rights

If you have been in an auto accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to receive compensation to cover the cost of medical expenses and other losses. You may need to challenge other driver’s insurance provider for your rightful claim. To make this happen, you would need to follow some procedures right from the point of meeting with the accident.

File a Police Report

The first most important thing you need to do is to call the local police and file your report so that the accident is documented legally. The insurance company will also need a copy of the police report.

You should also make use of your phone camera or any other camera to click photos of the spot, and both vehicles involved in the accident. If you are unable to move, you can ask bystanders to click photos and send you a copy.

Get Medical Treatment

If you have been in a vehicular accident, you would have sustained some injury. Make sure you take a trip to the emergency room to ensure your injury is not serious. Also, when you visit the emergency room on the same day as your accident, it increases your chances of getting the accident settlement. You leave behind a trail of undeniable paperwork that the insurance company cannot overlook.

Follow the Doctor’s Instructions

Make sure you do everything the doctor advises you. If you are asked to get an MRI or physical therapy, you should do it without questioning the doctor. There are two reasons behind it. One, it is your interest to follow your doctor’s instructions and get healthy as quickly as possible. Second, when you follow your doctor’s order, you show to the insurance company, you are injured and doing everything to get back on your feet.

Hire a Lawyer

When my brother got injured, we focused more on the treatment than hiring a lawyer. This was a mistake that we made and it dragged our settlement case. My advice to you is to hire an experienced and qualified lawyer immediately. The lawyer will begin working on your behalf and get in touch with insurance companies to hasten your accident settlement. We noticed a change in the insurance company’s attitude the moment we hired the services of Turnbull Hill Lawyers. It was amazing to see how the entire process speed up once my brother’s lawyer came into the picture.

Reach a Settlement Amount

We consulted my brother’s lawyer and reached a settlement amount. The lawyer advised us not speak to the claims adjustor without informing him. The lawyer came up with a minimum settlement amount that was acceptable to us and started negotiations with the insurance company. Of course, several meetings were held and several figures were thrown at us. However, our lawyer was steadfast on not accepting anything less than what he had agreed with us.

Never Take the First Offer

Since we hired our lawyer a little late, he knew we were desperate for money. So, the first thing he told us was not to accept the first offer that came our way from the other driver’s insurance company. Usually, insurance companies make a low settlement amount offer in the beginning to assess whether people are aware of what their claim is worth. Our lawyer completely rejected the first offer, as it was ridiculously low. Instead he made a counteroffer that was slightly less than the amount in our demand letter. Then with a little bit of negotiations, we were able to get the minimum settlement amount that we had decided on.

The Bottom Line

Even though you may think, like we did, that hiring a lawyer is not important while trying to win an accident settlement, it is. While you can start the initial discussions with the insurance company without a lawyer, at some stage in the future you will need the services of an experienced and qualified lawyer.

The lawyer will be able to work on your behalf and negotiate a reasonable and fair settlement amount for you or your loved one. Remember, most insurance companies will not take you or your claim seriously if you are not represented by a lawyer and this will prompt them either to put the onus on you for the accident or offer you an outrageously low amount. We would have been in this boat had we not hired the services of an accident settlement lawyer. We were a little late in taking this step, but ultimately we went ahead. It helped us win our case and my brother got the amount that he deserved.

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