4 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Car Insurance Settlement
A blog about getting a great car insurance settlement after an accident and how to navigate the whole process
If you have been in a car accident and suffered a personal injury, it is important to file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver to compensate you for your medical treatment and medical bills, lost wages, economic damages, pain, and suffering, and damage to your personal property. Whether or not you decide to use a personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer for this type of claim, we want to share some tips with you on how to get the most from your car insurance settlement.
Four Great Tips
- You don’t have to accept the first offer! In many cases, insurance companies will throw out an initial settlement amount that can be less than your medical bills and property damage are worth. Additionally, many insurance companies will try to resolve your case for pennies on the dollar before you have had an adequate opportunity to seek or complete your medical care. While many people believe that an offer from an insurance company is the only offer they will receive, this is not true – you are under no obligation to accept any settlement offer they make. Make sure the offer is fair and covers your current and future medical bills, lost income, economic loss, pain and suffering, personal property expenses, and more. Once these factors have been taken into account, it may be worth considering settling a personal injury claim.
- If your vehicle has lost value due to the accident – ensure that you include diminished value in your claim! Your car has inherent value that can be recouped when you sell your car, but what happens to that value after a negligent driver hits you? The insurance company pays for your vehicle’s repairs, so all is right in the world, right? Not necessarily! If you ever decide to trade in or sell your vehicle in the future, it will have a diminished value due to previous damage. While insurance claims do not always cover diminished value losses, if an accident was the fault of another driver, you can generally claim the diminished value of your vehicle. By proving that your vehicle lost a certain dollar amount in value, you can claim that amount as a part of an insurance claim or car accident settlement and get compensated against this future loss that often is unrealized. You can learn more about the diminished value of vehicles from the Insurance Information Institute’s article What is diminished value?
- Think about the future! In our first point above, we briefly mentioned future medical bills. These future bills are often overlooked in a personal injury claim unless you work with experienced attorneys who know how to navigate the claims process. If you experience a serious injury in a car accident, your medical expenses may not end after an emergency room visit or going to weeks or months of physical therapy sessions. There could be lingering impacts on your health that require long-term medical care. By having medical records indicate a potential for future medical requirements, you can incorporate a dollar value for future medical expenses into your car accident claim.
- Insurance companies will try to prove that your injuries are not as bad as they are! Regardless of the severity of your injuries, insurance adjusters and insurance companies are relentless at trying to make you look healthy and happy. Avoid posting images on social media that can be used against you (nothing looks worse than someone mentioning their back pain only for pictures of them playing recreational league football to show up at a trial!)
Get a Free Consultation from a Car Accident Attorney
While we hope these tips can be helpful for you to get the most money from a settlement that you can get following a car accident, we encourage you to reach out to a personal injury lawyer experienced in car accident claims and working with insurance companies. At Dross Berman, the team of experienced attorneys at our law firm works diligently to get you a fair settlement for your personal injury case. Contact us today for a free consultation!