This guide is designed to help you understand the steps to take in the hours and days following a car accident. If you have any questions not covered by the guide, please don’t hesitate to contact us right away.
Settlement Negotiation Tips from Tittle & Perlmuter
Dealing with a car accident can be especially challenging. Injured victims have a legal right to full and fair compensation. However, the big insurance companies are often reluctant to pay. We want to help you through the complex accident settlement process. Here’s a list of 8 quick settlement negotiation tips from our Cleveland car accident attorneys:
1. Understand the Insurance Company
An insurance company will not be looking out for your best interests. The insurance company is the opposing party in your case. This is true even if you are dealing with your own insurer. You cannot rely on insurance adjusters to guide them through the process. You must keep your guard up at all times. The bottom line: Insurance companies want to reduce your settlement offer.
2. Initiate the Claim as Soon as Possible
Successful auto accident claims require strong supporting evidence. Unfortunately, many important forms of evidence begin to disappear soon after a car crash. To protect your interests, the best thing you can do is to start your claim as soon as you possibly can.
3. Never Admit Fault for the Accident
When speaking to an insurance adjuster, you should never admit (or accept) any fault for the wreck. In some cases, the insurance adjuster may try to subtly push partial fault on you. Regardless of the circumstances, never willingly accept that fault. It is not your role to judge who is at fault for the crash. Let your Cleveland car accident lawyer handle that issue.
4. Stick to the Facts, Never Speculate
Additionally, when on the phone with an insurance adjuster, you should never give any opinions about your accident, your injuries or your recovery. Instead, always stick strictly to the facts of your case. Insurance adjusters want you to talk a lot about your accident. They want you to engage in baseless speculation. Why? Because they are looking for statements that they can use against you.
5. Know the Rough Value of Your Claim
When getting deeper into negotiations, you must know the rough value of your claim. Without this knowledge, you simply will not be able to get a fair settlement offer. Sadly, insurance companies will exploit your lack of knowledge. Always reject a low insurance settlement offer. If you are unsure as to the value of your claim, you should speak to an attorney immediately.
6. Be Patient, Do Not Accept the First Offer
Insurance companies rarely start with their best offer. Indeed, insurers sometimes try to begin with an unreasonably low offer in order to ‘anchor’ the negotiations in their favor. Again, do not accept a bad offer; you are entitled to full compensation.
7. Get Everything in Writing
It is a best practice to get all important information in writing. This help you to reduce possible confusion with the company. It will also give you documentation that you can hand over to your lawyer for a comprehensive review.
8. Consult with an Ohio Car Accident Attorney
Finally, the single most important settlement tip is that you should always work through an attorney. For more information on how Cleveland car accident lawyers can help, please contact Tittle & Perlmuter today. Request a free, no-obligation review of your insurance claim. We are ready to get to work.