You can get a fair insurance settlement if you understand the settlement process and follow some basic best practices.
Here’s how you might want to settle your car wreck claim:
The Settlement Process
- Demand Package. You will need to prepare a demand package, including a settlement demand letter. The demand letter is your story about who you are, what happened in the accident, and how it affected you. You’ll send this letter to the insurance company to begin negotiations. Your demand should lay out why the other driver is at fault, and how much money you are demanding.
- Insurance Adjuster’s Response. As you know from our other posts, insurance companies pay as little money as possible to injured persons. Insurance adjusters use a lot of tools to intimidate you limit their payout. Don’t be surprised if the insurance company says that you are responsible for some part of the accident. That is why a collision report, accident reconstruction, and witness statements are necessary.
- Negotiations. The adjuster will aggressively confront you every step of the way. You can generally expect a very low initial settlement offer for your Washington car accident insurance claim. That modest offer is almost always insufficient to cover your losses. Insurance companies and their team of lawyers have a massive bag of tricks that they will use to lure you into a lowball settlement. Many collision victims who represent themselves get initial offers that only pay for your current medical bills and lost wages. Those lowball offers generally don’t account for future losses and expenses related to the accident. You’ll also find that the initial settlement offer also won’t pay you for your pain and suffering. These cheap offers often ignore your loss of enjoyment of life due to permanent disabilities.
- Evidence and Documents. Judges, juries, and insurance adjusters require proof supporting your claim. Your testimony matters, but not nearly as much as witness statements, the collision report, the accident reconstruction report, and medical records. Likewise, you should demand that the insurance company support each of its arguments with proper evidence.
You should have an experienced personal injury attorney review your initial settlement offer. You’ll want to make sure that the insurance company is being “fair” with you. You’re almost always likely to walk with more money in your pocket by merely retaining a respected personal injury attorney from the beginning. Our experienced and respected injury attorneys are ready to meet with you. Call us today to schedule your free, no risk consultation.