Being in a car accident or any other type of accident that results in you being injured is quite traumatic. Suddenly, your days are filled with medical appointments, you are in constant pain, and you see no easy way to go back to your job. As if this was not stressful enough, you will now need to talk to your insurance regarding how much and when they are going to cover the expenses related to the accident.
Newport Beach Personal Injury Attorney Timothy J. Ryan wants to remind you that, although this may be your first time negotiating with an insurance company, they have a whole team of experienced lawyers on their side, giving them the upper hand when it comes to dealing with your claim.
You can prepare yourself to negotiate with the insurance company by taking proactive steps to work in your favor. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Investigate the Cost of the Repairs
If you were in a car accident and reported the accident to your insurance company, they will send an adjuster to offer you an amount to settle the claim. Take the time to investigate how much you would be charged for the repairs. If possible, get more than one quote. Having information will help you decide whether the amount offered is fair and will cover your damages.
Be Prepared to Negotiate in Good Faith
If what your insurance is offering you is not enough, you should not feel pressured to accept this offer. The insurance company is prepared for a negotiation, and you can start the process by simply asking for an explanation of the amount you are being offered. By asking them to justify it, you will get some information on what factors they are considering, and you will be able to provide your arguments in return.
Accepting a Write-Off
You may be informed by the insurance company that your car was damaged to such an extent that it must be written off as a total loss. This decision is reached when the insurance company determines that the cost to fix it is greater than the car’s cash value.
If your point of view is different, you need to know more about total losses and investigate what formula is used in the state where you live. You may also be able to get proof that your car is worth more than what they have determined it is by showing them that you made some modifications to the car, if that is the case.
Get Legal Representation
If you have exhausted all your arguments and gathered as much proof as possible with no increase in the amount you are being offered, you may have no option but to get an accident attorney to do the negotiations for you.
On one hand, your lawyer will be a better negotiator. On the other hand, the insurance company may feel pressured to respond differently if they know that you have a legal professional.
Talk to the lawyer about your case and get an estimate of how much they would charge you for the job. If the payout is small, you may have no other option than to do the negotiations yourself.