The first step a person should take in a car insurance settlement following an auto accident, is to call a Clearwater car accident attorney to negotiate the settlement for them. It is important that the adjuster has all the medical records and all the medical bills prior to even beginning negotiations. This sort of research is better left to an attorney. If adjusters want to negotiate the settlement prior to anyone receiving treatment, that is their first red flag indicating that the company is not offering the full value of the individual’s case.
The Negotiation Process
The claimant’s lawyer provides all the information to the adjuster, typically by putting into their computer system, which then determines the value of the case. Almost always, the first offer is not a fair offer but many times after the attorney has argued for their client and shown the insurance company how this case has really affected their life, the car insurance company gets to an appropriate number that is fair to settle the case.
Both sides will usually go back and forth for an extended period of time producing more documents, witness statements, or more information that the car insurance company wants before they settle the case for what it is worth. It is usually a lengthy process and negotiation before the claimant actually gets to the fair number that they settle for.
The best way to estimate an individual’s damages is to look at their medical bills and lost wages and add them all together. That is a good way to estimate the start of their damages. Calculating the pain and suffering and the emotional distress that they suffer as result of the car accident is more of an art than a science. Attorneys can use those medical bills and lost wages to try to get a large number for their pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future capacity to earn, and emotional distress and pain. However, it is hard to estimate those numbers without knowing the person’s specific case.
A person should include all their medical records, medical bills, witness statements from people who knew them before and after the accident, anybody who has seen them go to their treatment, or sees every day the pain and suffering they go through. These witness statements, the individual’s medical records and medical bills, and any statements from doctors, or how this has affected their life will go into the demand letter. An attorney will also want to put all of that with the incident report and the facts regarding the case; and whether the other driver was cited and ticketed for the accident and being at fault to submit to the insurance company.
When considering a counter offer a person should consider all their medical records, medical bills, everything they can no longer do, and any additional treatment they may need to determine whether the offer is sufficient for their needs and to pay the bills. It is important to consider all the treatment and expenses that are incurred as a result of the accident before accepting an insurance’s counter offer.