Receiving a car accident settlement offer may seem exciting, but it can also be detrimental to your case if you accept the first settlement offer presented to you. One of the best things you can do is negotiate with insurance companies or defense counsel regarding all settlement offers. However, you should never attempt to negotiate alone, as you want an experienced car accident attorney handling this process for you.
Contact a car accident lawyer in Connecticut today to learn more about enforcing your legal rights and what to expect regarding settlement offers.
Insurance companies use many unique tools and tactics to reduce the overall amounts they pay to settle civil lawsuits. One common technique is for insurance companies to offer low settlement offers during the early stages of settlement negotiations. Accident victims must have a comprehensive understanding of their injuries and any necessary surgeries to recover their health. Although some individuals may be tempted to accept low settlement offers, it is more beneficial for them to negotiate with insurance companies.
Recorded statements are often central to an insurance company’s strategy to prevent paying out a full settlement amount. If an accident victim receives a request from an insurance company to provide any recorded statement, they should decline it immediately. Insurance company representatives will attempt to use any statement to argue that the accident victim did not seek medical treatment for their injuries or that the subject incident did not cause their injuries.
It is also possible that an insurance company representative will challenge the total amount of your damages. Calculating your total general damages and special damages will help you during settlement negotiations. However, many insurance companies will attempt to undervalue the amount of your claim. Understanding how to substantiate your total damages calculation is integral to your civil lawsuit.
You do not have to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company. Invoking your power to reject an offer will demonstrate to the insurance company that you want to pursue a reasonable monetary compensation for your car accident injuries.
Insurance claim adjusters will use many different types of records to assess the potential value of your insurance claim. The following are some of the most common records insurance companies will request when analyzing your insurance claim:
The current medical bills associated with your injuries may not fully account for your total medical expenses. For example, you may need to undergo additional surgeries, or you may suffer future complications due to your injuries. Speaking with an attorney is the best thing you can do before you provide an insurance company with copies of your medical records.
Attorneys typically draft demand letters and provide a summary of the damages that should be paid by the insurance company that insures the at-fault party. Most demand letters include the following information:
The demand letter is generally the first stage of settlement negotiations in civil lawsuits. Personal injury cases are unpredictable, and sometimes insurers will dismiss a demand for compensation and require the injured party to file a civil complaint for damages. A complaint is a legal filing that initiates a civil lawsuit.
A primary care physician will often help injured patients determine the course and scope of their medical treatment plan. Sometimes, an accident victim needs to undergo surgery, and at other times, an accident victim may need to schedule appointments with several medical specialists.
Keeping track of all your recommended medical treatment will ensure that you are in the best health possible after suffering injuries during an accident. A victim should seek financial compensation from an insurance company only after receiving medical treatment. Medical records can substantiate your claims, and it is necessary to provide documentation regarding all the medical treatment you received due to your injuries.
It is possible that some accident victims may believe they suffered only minor injuries during a car accident. However, some accidents may produce severe injuries that do not produce any discernible symptoms until days or weeks after the date of the incident.
Speak with your primary care physician about whether or not you need to see a medical specialist for additional treatment. You might not feel serious pain or see any visible injuries due to the accident, yet symptoms may appear weeks or months after the accident. Assessing your injuries is critical to forming a reasonable basis for calculating the total damages amount associated with your personal injury case.
No law can force you to accept a settlement offer. It is your decision whether or not to accept or reject a settlement offer, and no insurance company representative can require you to accept a settlement offer. A settlement offer may not contain a sufficient amount to cover your medical expenses and property damage. In such a case, it is in your best interest to reject the initial settlement offer related to an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
It is also possible that the insurance company intentionally undervalued your insurance claim amount. Therefore, the settlement offer you receive reflects this low amount. Do not accept these initial settlement offers. Most settlement offers presented early during a civil lawsuit help insurance claim adjusters test the waters to determine if you are likely to accept a low settlement offer.
Calculating the total damages amount associated with your case means you must understand which damages you may seek in a personal injury lawsuit. Damages are generally divided into general damages and special damages. Sometimes, a party will claim punitive damages, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
General damages are also termed non-economic damages, and these are the unquantifiable elements of an accident victim’s injuries. Common examples of general damages include the following:
Special damages are sometimes referred to as economic damages, and these are more quantifiable elements of a victim’s losses. The following are common examples of special damages:
Understanding how to calculate the total damages related to a personal injury case is essential to understanding where to begin during settlement negotiation. You do not want to accept the first settlement offer you receive because, 99 percent of the time, it will not reflect an accurate calculation of your total damages.
Insurance companies will analyze your behavior and examine many details about your life. Often, insurance companies will investigate any prior accidents in which you suffered injuries. They want to know if you have a history of filing accident claims against insurance companies. Social media platforms contain useful information that insurance companies may use to weaken your claim.
You should not post photographs of your injuries on any social media application. Also, do not discuss the details regarding your accident on any social media platform. The best thing to do during this time is to focus on your medical treatment and how long it will take you to heal from your injuries.
An insurance claim representative may contact you after they have investigated your online presence and your current economic situation. You need to maintain a low profile online while an insurance company is assessing the merits of your insurance claim.
Although the majority of civil lawsuits do not go to trial, it is plausible that you will be a participant in a civil trial. Only approximately five percent of civil cases go to trial, but it is still possible that your case will go before a judge or a jury.
You do not want to accept a low settlement offer if it is possible that you may recover a greater sum at trial. It is impossible to know how a judge or jury will assess your case, but if you do not receive a favorable offer in the settlement negotiation phase, then you can file a civil lawsuit to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
A civil lawsuit requires an assessment of its own merits and in the context of the parties involved in litigation. A claim may potentially bring in a larger sum by going to trial. The jurors may be more sympathetic toward the injured party, or the judge may be willing to admit evidence that is favorable to your theory of the case. Accepting a low settlement offer at the outset of the negotiation period may be disadvantageous to your interests. A skilled personal injury lawyer will explain the costs and benefits of accepting any settlement offer.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer will enable you to benefit from attorney-client privilege and attorney-client confidentiality. Protecting confidential communications between yourself and your attorney is critical to the outcome of your case. Therefore, the more information you can keep private and undisclosed, the stronger your civil lawsuit will be.
Also, attorneys understand how to negotiate with insurance claims adjusters. By retaining a personal injury lawyer, you can ensure someone is skillfully reinforcing your legal rights. Therefore, having legal representation will enable you to present clear legal arguments regarding your injuries.
A lawyer also acts as an advocate who provides you with guidance, legal advice, and recommendations for effective case strategies. Most attorneys will engage in settlement negotiations in a manner that will benefit their clients over the course of a civil case.
Speaking to an attorney is one of the most productive things you can do if you have further questions about settlement negotiations. A knowledgeable litigator can assess how the facts of your case may influence the potential length of settlement negotiations. As you learn more about the role settlement negotiations play in civil lawsuits, the more comfortable you will be working with a car accident attorney who knows how to represent your legal interests with zeal.
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