If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a car accident, obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled will play an important role in your recovery process. As such, it is important to hold out for a settlement that is just and that covers your physical, financial, and emotional damages in their entirety. Working closely with an experienced Austin car accident attorney is the surest way to help you negotiate more money from your car accident claim.
What’s in This Guide
- Know Your Car Insurance Policy
- Know What Your Claim Is Worth
- The First Offer Is a Starting Position
- Be Patient but Persistent with the Insurance Company
- Accepting an Offer: Settling with the Insurance Company
- Negotiating Your Car Accident Settlement: Seek the Professional Legal Help You Need
Know Your Car Insurance Policy
If you have been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you will file your claim with his or her car insurance provider. If your injuries are extensive and exceed the other driver’s coverage (the majority of drivers only carry insurance that reaches the state’s minimum requirements), you’ll need to take a careful look at your own coverage. If your insurance includes uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, which you are well advised to carry, it will help with any amounts that exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage limits. Additionally, if you share fault in the accident, you’ll need to look at your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is not a requirement in the State of Texas but is a good idea to carry. Your insurance provider is, however, required to offer you both UM and PIP coverage, and the only way to deny these kinds of coverage is to do so in writing.
Know What Your Claim Is Worth
Before you move forward with accepting a car accident settlement, it’s critical that you know what it’s worth. Regaining your health and well-being is going to be a difficult and expensive process, and your recovery is too important to sell your claim short. If the negligence of another driver leaves you injured, the damages you can address in your settlement negotiations include:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Your medical expenses
- Your lost earnings
- Your physical and emotional pain and suffering
Having a dedicated Austin car accident attorney in your corner will provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your complete damages are well represented.
The First Offer Is a Starting Position
When you’re dealing with a car insurance company, the most important point to keep in mind is that it is a business like any other – and that, as a result, it is motivated by its own profits. This means that the insurance company is going to do what it can to keep your settlement low. In fact, a common ploy of insurance companies is throwing out an early, lowball settlement offer in the hope that the claimant will accept out of financial desperation. After all, your medical bills are piling up while your earnings are tanking, and a settlement of any kind can feel like a lifeline. If the settlement doesn’t cover your full range of losses, however, it’s not going to do you any favors. Consider the first settlement offer the insurance company makes you a starting position, and don’t accept a settlement until you’ve reviewed the matter carefully with your savvy car accident attorney.
Be Patient but Persistent with the Insurance Company
Again, the insurance company is in the business of making money. While the claims process is lengthy and complicated enough on its own, the insurance company may artificially prolong and complicate the process in the hope of pushing you to accept a lower settlement. There are, however, rules and regulations the company must abide by, and your car accident attorney knows how to keep the provider in check. Ultimately, following your attorney’s lead in the matter – and holding out until you receive a fair settlement offer – is always in your best interest.
Accepting an Offer: Settling with the Insurance Company
Your skilled car accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that fairly addresses your full array of damages. The settlement you sign off on can make a substantial difference in your ability to successfully navigate the difficult path toward achieving your fullest recovery, which makes giving the matter the careful consideration it deserves paramount. Several important points to keep in mind include:
- Serious injuries can lead to secondary health concerns that require ongoing medical care (and expense). Ensuring that your settlement addresses any future medical costs is essential.
- If your injuries interfere with your ability to do your job and/or limit your ability to expand your career as planned, you could be looking at a decrease in earning potential, which can add up to considerable financial losses.
- The pain and suffering you experience can hold you back in important ways and should not be discounted when it comes to your settlement.
Accepting a settlement that doesn’t take your actual damages into careful consideration can leave you facing a more difficult recovery.
Negotiating Your Car Accident Settlement: Seek the Professional Legal Help You Need
The single most important step you can take to help ensure that your car accident claim settles fairly is seeking the professional legal guidance of a seasoned Austin car accident attorney. Car insurance companies recognize the vulnerable positions claimants are in, and many are not above taking advantage of their vulnerability. This can include twisting your words to its own gain. An important point to keep in mind is that you are not required to provide the insurance company with a statement, and this is something you should leave in the capable hands of your car accident attorney. In fact, your attorney will fill all the following critical roles:
- Gathering all the pertinent evidence and using it to compose your strongest claim
- Negotiating skillfully with the involved car insurance provider
- Helping you make the right decisions for you and your claim throughout the process
With a dedicated Austin car accident attorney in your corner, you can move forward with confidence.
Reach out to an Experienced Austin Car Accident Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need
The accomplished Austin car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm are committed to skillfully advocating for your legal rights – while harnessing the full strength of their impressive experience in pursuit of your rightful compensation. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 today.