Negotiating car accident settlements is notorious for causing stress because insurance companies strive to pay as little as possible. Agents take advantage of your limited knowledge in this area. The most important factors in negotiating settlements are evidence, diligence and tenacity.
Use as much evidence as possible
The more evidence that you have, the stronger your arguments are. After motor vehicle accidents, it’s important to take pictures of every aspect of the scene, including the weather conditions, tire marks, broken glass and all signs of damage. These clues help experts piece together the severity of the accident and who’s at fault.
Calling the police after an accident to file an official police report helps support your claim as well. The police will arrive at the scene to collect their own evidence.
Follow your treatment plan
Insurance companies will check if you’re receiving prompt medical treatment for your injuries and sticking to your doctor’s orders. Failure to go to the doctor in a timely manner and follow your treatment plan gives the insurance company negotiating power over you. They will claim that you are partially responsible for the extent of your injuries and the medical costs for neglecting your health.
Don’t accept the first or second offer
The first offer is usually the lowest possible offer that an insurance company can legally make. This doesn’t mean that it’s what you deserve. Thus, you most likely will never want to accept the first offer. Many people who aren’t experienced with negotiating feel uncomfortable asking for more, but it’s an essential aspect of negotiation. Most insurance companies are persistent and put up a tough fight against offering more. You may have to restate your arguments multiple times before you reach a fair settlement. Their second offer probably won’t be the best either. Thus, you may want to keep pushing to get as much as you can to ensure you have enough to properly cover your costs.
Negotiating settlements for motor vehicle accidents in California is stressful to most people because they aren’t used to negotiating. Insurance companies tend to call frequently to make you settle from the pressure. To successfully negotiate a fair settlement, you may want to be resilient and push for a higher amount with evidence to back up your request.