You swerved your car to avoid a stray cat or deer on the road or just totaled your car by crashing into another. The good news is that you can file an accident claim and win it by following some tips. Keep in mind that you may need a car accident attorney in your corner fighting your case. Once the settlement procedure starts to really heat up, these strategies can push the odds in your favor:
1. Have a Settlement Amount in Mind Beforehand
When you are putting your application together figure out an amount or at least a range of what you think your claim is worth. This should be done before you talk to an adjuster. Figure out the minimum you can accept as well but don’t reveal that figure to the adjuster. Do so when the negotiations start so that you don’t make a decision you end up regretting later. This can happen if the claims agent takes a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to make you panic and give in.
Of course, this does not mean that you should stick to your guns whatever it takes. If you are presented facts that you had not considered before coming up with an amount and which make your claim weaker, back off and reduce the figure. However, if the adjuster starts off with a low offer or a figure that is near the minimum even though you have proof that your claim is strong, you should change the figure in your favor.
2. Think Over the First Offer
The first offer that the adjuster will make will be the lowest or your claim can be denied from the outset. Don’t panic at this because this is the insurance company’s way to determine the worth of your claim and see whether you are so desperate to get the money that you will get emotional or impatient. If you react negatively, they may have grounds to negotiate on their terms.
Therefore, when the offer is made, your reaction or response should depend on how reasonable or not it is. If it is reasonable, you can reply by suggesting a counter offer that is just a tad lower than the amount that was made in your application. This way you can show the adjuster that you are a reasonable person who is open to compromise.
With a little more discussion you can get a final amount that is fair for both you and the insurance company. Increase your chances of coming to a fair conclusion by focusing on the strongest facts of the claim.
3. Don’t Ignore the Claim
The worst thing you can do is not tell your insurance company about a minor collision, even if you weren’t to blame and no one was hurt by it. If the other driver sues you at a later date, your insurer may not honor the policy when they find out you failed to inform them of the incident. This means you will have to take care of the legal bills out of pocket along with any claims that the injured party wins.
Even if the insurer honors the policy, you will take time away from them that they could have used to investigate the accident and prepare your defense. In other words, in both cases, you will reduce your chances of winning.
Follow these tips to strengthen your claim with the insurance company and get the compensation you deserve.