Automobile accidents are frightening, sometimes painful events that bring with them a unique set of personal challenges. Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks to undertake following a collision is that of attempting to negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance carrier.
Though the circumstances of every accident differ, there are several critical steps that should always be followed in order to maximize your chances of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. If the negotiation process begins to falter and you fear you may not receive the financial recovery you need, enlist the aid of a skilled Los Angeles accident attorney.
Assessment and Investigation Following an Accident
It is always advisable to file an insurance claim as soon as possible following an auto accident. It will not be long before a claims adjuster makes contact with you to discuss the details of the claim, and assess your coverage, applicable deductibles, and coverage limitations. Cases of insignificant damage or minimal injury are likely to be resolved fairly easily and payment on such claims will be made without substantial negotiation. However, when the injuries are of a more serious nature, a more detailed investigation will likely commence. The adjuster may interview witnesses to the event, examine the crash site, and delve into the medical treatment you have received and the expenses you have incurred.
Settlement Offers and Negotiation
At the conclusion of the adjuster’s inquiry, a financial settlement offer is likely to be presented. The offer details the amount of money the insurance company is willing to pay on your claim, and is likely to be less than you had hoped to receive. Accident victims are under no obligation to accept an offer of settlement at this point, and there may be relatively significant room for negotiation to take place. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to substantially increase the settlement offer to an acceptable amount, it is wise to enlist the aid of an experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorney who is prepared to assert your rights and fight for the financial recovery to which you are entitled.
How an Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have estimated the amount of property damage you have sustained and assessed your present and future medical expenses, and have concluded that the settlement offer is simply insufficient to meet your needs, you have every right to seek compensation through the legal system. An attorney with an extensive background in handling auto accident cases can:
Aggressively negotiate a more advantageous settlement offer
File a lawsuit on your behalf
Thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident
Review all pertinent medical records
Engage the services of expert witnesses
Take your case to trial