If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it can often be a traumatic experience when there’s a collision on the road. Once you begin to recover, you’ll need to file an insurance claim and attempt to work towards a settlement with the responsible party. Here are a few important tips to follow to navigate insurance settlements after a car accident.
Talking to the Adjuster
Contact an insurance adjuster and ask about the time limitations for filing your claim and submitting bills. You’ll also need to inquire about time limitations for resolving claim disputes and when you can expect the insurance company to contact you. The adjuster will want to know the extent of your injuries, but it’s important to avoid giving a detailed description if the injuries become more severe over time or new symptoms develop.
Reaching a Settlement
It’s important to keep in mind that your main goal should be to reach a settlement that is fair and compensates you appropriately for the damages. According to this source, quick settlement offers are usually designed to avoid a larger payout and don’t always take into account the full extent of damages suffered. Resist the urge to settle immediately because you’ll likely be compensated for a higher amount if you take your time to work through all of the details of the case. Keep in mind that adjusters don’t drop draft you for the full value of your case. If they send you a check in the mail, then you’ll need to obtain legal representation.
Keeping Accurate Records
You’ll need to keep a file of your records with documents that are related to your car accident and organize it chronologically to ensure specific medical documents or receipts are easy to find. You’ll need to resort back to these documents during the negotiating process and have them readily available to expedite the settlement process. According to this source, without proper records on hand, you can’t prove how much money you’ve already spent on yourself or your car as a result of the collision.
Calculating a Fair Settlement
Before you attempt to settle with the insurance adjuster, you’ll need to first calculate a fair settlement to determine what your claim is worth. The factors that should be taken into account include your medical expenses, any pain or suffering you’ve endured, the income that you’ve lost due to your injuries, the cost of repairing or replacing your car, and if you’ve become permanently disabled or need long-term care. Knowing how much money you’re entitled to will make it easier to negotiate with the insurance adjuster and explain why you deserve a specific amount of money.
Although it can be tricky to navigate insurance settlements after a car accident has occurred and you’re in the process of recovering, there are ways to make it a smoother and more efficient process. Knowing the tactics that the adjuster might try and how you can seek fair compensation can allow you to obtain the amount of money that you deserve without rushing it.
If you’d like to read more about insurance, take a look at our insurance planning resources!