Car accidents are a messy affair, but the aftermath gets even messier. If you are involved in a car accident where it was not your fault, the immediate step is to file a case with the insurance company of the driver who is at fault. Seems easy enough, because it was not your fault, right? And the insurance company will most likely agree to it by providing you with a sum of money. On an average, only 1 out of 50 of such similar cases will be satisfactory, with the car accident victim being happy with the offer. So what do you do?
Always say no to the first offer.
This is because the insurance company will only act on its own interest, and the most important thing is to reject their first offer always. The first offer will always be the lowest offer often known as a “low-ball” offer. Clueless accident victims will often be intimated by their professional stand and will accept their offer fearing that if they reject it, they might never get even a cent at all. But mind, the first offer is never their last. The only interest of the insurance company is to see how much money they can save out of the accident.
As simple as that, call your car accident lawyer. If you don’t have one, get one. During the process of rejecting the offer, the insurance company will clearly have a discussion of sorts with its team to work on all counter-points. And they will surely come up with a second offer, which will be slightly higher than their first offer but one which will be still a “low-ball offer”.
By this time, your lawyer and you should work out on a demand letter to the insurance company citing-
- Proof of how the accident was clearly not your fault. Pictures would be extremely helpful and a detailed description of how the accident happened would give you an upper hand.
- All the damages that were a result of the accident. This could include receipts for repairing damages or paying the car rental service.
- The medical bills that you had to pay for the injuries as a result of the accident.
- The psychological impact and emotional distress that it had on you and your family due to the accident.
The demand letter should include the final and total amount of everything that you would be willing to settle on.
What happens after you send your demand letter?
It is important to ask the insurance company a higher amount of money than intended as it is possible that the insurance company may not accept the demand. And this is where your lawyer comes in making the best possible deal so that you may walk away with the amount of money that you deserve.
A final advice:
If you were injured badly during the accident, and is receiving treatment, it is important never to agree on a settlement before you are healed completely. Because once you have agreed on the settlement, you cannot ask for more money if you had to spend more on your medical care.