Getting hurt in a car accident is often a traumatic experience for many drivers. At the very least, it means physical pain and mental anguish, but a nasty car wreck can sometimes keep you out of work for months and lead to some high medical bills. What really makes these situations so stressful, however, is not necessarily the rehabilitation process so much as the constant headache from dealing with insurance companies. After all, they want to know how your recovery is going—or rather, they want to know how much longer they have to keep paying for it.
Negotiating with insurance companies can therefore become a major pain for most people, and if you don’t have a professional personal injury attorney on your side, the process can be grim. The associates at Harris & Graves know this all too well, and we want to help you the best we can, starting with these five simple tips you can use when negotiating in the future.
1. How Much Does the Injury Cost?
Before you ever start negotiating, you need to know exactly what your case is worth and how much you are trying to get. To be fair, this calculation can get difficult, though in the most basic sense, you will want to actually figure out how much the injury has cost you by factoring in not only your medical expenses but also your lost wages, property damages, etc., both currently and in the future
2. Factor in Mental and Emotional Damages
Being hurt in a car accident leads to a lot more than just physical pain. Your injury can wreck havoc on your psyche and permanently alter the way you live, and you will want to make note of this when negotiating. For example, if your injury has affected your relationships with family or friends, or prevents you from participating in other activities or hobbies, incorporate as much in your claim.
3. Hold Out for Better Offers
You need to be careful when negotiating with insurance companies, and you should be wary of many offers you might field. The general rule of thumb is to carefully weigh the first offer, even if the number is fair given your own estimations. Keep in mind that a high initial offer could mean your case is worth more than you previously thought.
4. Learn More About Your Offer
Whenever you get an offer from an insurance company, whether low or high, you should ask for some justification. At the very least, this can lead to dialogue that could help you to settle for more down the line.
5. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
At the end of the day, the best way to deal with an insurance company is to let your trained personal injury lawyer handle the dirty work for you. In particular, you will want representation with years of experience negotiating with unscrupulous insurance adjusters, and if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, we want to make sure you’re getting everything you deserve.
For more information or to speak with someone regarding your potential case, contact the offices of Harris & Graves. We look forward to seeing what we can do for you.