Auto accidents can cause significant damage and injuries. When you are injured in a car accident and are unable to return to work, not only are you dealing with medical bills, you are also losing income. To make matters worse, you may be dealing with an insurance adjuster who offers you a settlement way below what you feel is fair. You may be asking yourself if there is anything you can do and the answer is – yes.
After a car accident involving injuries and property damage, you should make a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. You need to prepare to negotiate with the insurance adjuster because most likely, you will not be happy with the initial settlement offer. Have paperwork ready before talking with the insurance company. Write down all of the facts of the accident so you won’t forget any pertinent information when dealing with the insurer. Keep the police report, pictures of the damaged vehicles, pictures of your injuries, medical bills and medical records together as it will help you during your negotiation.
When you are talking with the insurance company, use your paperwork and facts of the accident to explain exactly what happened, including the appropriate dates. The insurance adjuster may ask for copies of the documents in which you are referring. Usually the insurance adjuster will accept these documents via fax, email or copies sent through the mail.
After the insurance adjuster has all of the paperwork needed, the negotiation process begins. Do not be intimidated by the adjuster as it is a common tactic for them to compare your accident to other similar cases and talk about the numerous cases they have settled. Each accident is unique and you need to keep that in mind when negotiating.
Insurance adjusters have a certain settlement range and will usually start at the lower end. It would be wise to conduct some research on your own beforehand to determine the amount you are willing to accept. Consider the costs to repair your vehicle, your time away from work, your injuries and any pain and suffering you have experienced and use the information to determine your acceptable settlement. Keep in mind that once the insurance adjuster reaches the top of the settlement range, there will be no more offers.
If you are not satisfied with the amount the insurance adjuster offers, you have some options and should hire a Florida auto accident attorney who can help you achieve a fair settlement. A car accident lawyer will be able to review the evidence of the accident to calculate a reasonable insurance settlement. An experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf and if necessary, can file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. It is even recommended that you contact an auto accident attorney before negotiating with the insurance company.