After an accident and you have filed your claim, your attorney will begin the settlement process with the insurer or third party. Negotiations can get heated and there are minor things that you may accidentally do that will lower how much money your attorney can get for you. By being aware of the things you should not do, you can help increase your settlement amount and ensure your settlement isn’t reduced because of something minor.
Do Not Have a Number in Mind
Your attorney will have estimates and a few figures, but if you go into negotiations with a settlement amount you want in mind, you could actually short change yourself. Based on the evidence your attorney presents and their negotiation skills, the insurer may come back with a higher settlement. Even if you have an amount, never share that amount with the insurer and never hint at what you are expecting to receive. Giving them a starting point just gives them the opportunity to lower how much they offer in the first place.
Never Take the First Offer
Insurance companies will rely on the fact that you are desperate for money. They know you aren’t working, have medical costs, etc. and they will use that to their advantage. They will present you with a settlement amount that seems high, but once you calculate it out in the long term, you will realize it isn’t nearly enough. Trust in your attorney to calculate how much you really need and never accept a settlement without your attorney present.
Do Not Put Off Medical Treatments
You should seek medical treatment immediately after your accident and never put it off. Putting off medical treatment could make you appear as though your injuries weren’t serious and you are exaggerating them now – or worse, insurers will try to claim that you are faking your injuries altogether. Immediately after your accident, go to the doctor. Then, stick to all treatment plans and make all follow up appointments as instructed by your treating physician. If you fail to go to appointments or ignore medical advice, it could lower your settlement.
Always Be Honest
Never exaggerate the facts or leave facts out. Any inkling of dishonesty could result in a lowered settlement or no settlement. When you are not believable, insurers will not be quick to provide you with the compensation you need, but also the court will be less likely to believe your statements – even if they are true.
Hire an Attorney
Never try to negotiate a car accident settlement alone. You should always contact an attorney to help you with the negotiation process. After your accident, contact Malman Law. We can assist you with the settlement process, but also make sure you do not commit these innocent errors that can reduce how much you receive. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-751-2297 or fill out an online contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.