Originally published May 30, 2022.
When you file an insurance claim after a car accident, you usually receive a settlement offer from the insurance company. However, it’s important to remember that you can, and often should, negotiate for a better settlement offer if the first one you receive isn’t fair. An acceptable settlement offer should cover all the expenses you incurred due to the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs.
Despite this, insurance companies often try to settle for less than the cost of your injuries to save money. They rarely offer sufficient compensation if they aren’t forced to first negotiate with skilled attorneys representing the accident victim.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, contact one of the Utah car accident lawyers at Great West Injury Law to help ensure that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Determining a Fair Settlement Offer for an Auto Accident
To calculate what may represent a fair settlement amount, you and your legal team should look at several factors. These include:
- The cost of your medical bills
- Your lost wages while recovering from your injuries
- The cost of the damage done to your vehicle
- The emotional distress you’ve endured due to the accident
Your lawyer will help you reject any claims that don’t cover these costs and negotiate for a better settlement.
All records related to your injuries, such as hospital stays, laboratory results, medical prescriptions, and follow-up visits, are required to determine whether an insurance settlement offer is fair. Medical records can provide the insurance company with a clear picture of the recovery process, showing how long you may need to heal from the accident after being treated.
After serious injuries, many accident victims are unable to return to work until they fully recover. Your wage statements can be used as evidence to show how much you may be owed in missed paychecks. If you suffer a permanent injury that restricts your ability to work in the future, your legal team can help determine how much you may be owed in future lost wages as well.
Your car’s level of damage in the accident will be considered when determining fair compensation for your case. The repairs you had to make to your vehicle may have included repainting the bumper or replacing a broken headlight, for example. Your car could also have required realignment, repair to the frame, or a new door. In this case, a reasonable settlement will be determined by the amount of money you have to spend to repair your car.
It’s also important to remember that your compensation for your property damage can be settled separately from your compensation for your injuries. This means if you are still receiving treatment for your injuries and don’t know how much money you will need in compensation, but need your car repaired right away, you can accept a settlement for your property damage without having to also accept an inadequate amount for your medical expenses at the same time. Make sure to have your lawyer review the settlement offer to make sure your property damage and injury settlements are being addressed separately.
Pain and Suffering
Although it’s challenging to calculate a monetary value for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced due to an accident, these factors often have a significant impact on your life. For example, think about the challenges a broken hand can cause to your daily routine, affecting everything from your ability to dress yourself to driving, writing, and more.
Your lawyer can determine the appropriate settlement based on how your accident has affected your capacity to perform daily tasks, as well as your personal relationships and ability to enjoy hobbies. A longer recovery period often means more compensation.
Tips for Getting a Reasonable Settlement Offer for Your Case
Once you have examined all the important factors above, these guidelines can help you determine the value of your vehicle accident settlement. You want to make sure you have an experienced car accident attorney to help you calculate your settlement.
Keep all documentation related to your accident
Keep your medical records showing all medical expenses you have incurred and the results of medical treatments. Ensure you also keep all the receipts and bills from your auto repair shop. Your damage claim will be worth more if you keep all the documents.
Investigate your accident
It is crucial to have a lawyer investigate the accident on your behalf. If you receive a low settlement offer, your lawyer may need to gather evidence like witness testimony, police reports, and medical records to show the severity of the crash to the insurance company. This evidence can show the insurance company that the driver on their policy acted negligently and could result in legal action if a fair settlement isn’t reached.
Never accept the initial settlement offer
Many legal considerations go into negotiating with an insurance company, including damages to your car and the medical bills incurred to treat your injuries.
An auto accident lawyer can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve by negotiating a settlement for all of your damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Get a Fair Settlement
If you find yourself dealing with a low insurance company settlement offer, an experienced car accident attorney may help you get more money for your claim. With Great West Injury Law on your side, you can focus on getting better while your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.
For a free consultation regarding your case, contact Great West Injury Law today.