After a car accident, you have two ways to get what you deserve. You can either file a lawsuit and wait several months for your day in court or you can be paid in a matter of weeks. If you are like most victims, being paid quickly is the far better choice. When you are paid via an accident settlement, you agree to accept money in exchange for dropping any lawsuits, present or future. Did you know that you can take certain actions that might result in an offer of compensation? Read on and find out about some tips and tricks that could result in a personal injury settlement.
Pay Attention to Your Injuries
The only thing more important than medical expenses in a personal injury case is fault. If you expect to be paid compensation, you must have a physical injury and you must seek treatment in a timely manner. If you wait, the other side might accuse you of making up injuries or making your injuries worse because you failed to get care for them.
Refuse to Cooperate
Accident victims are often asked to take part in a recorded phone call to discuss the accident and answer questions. This allows the other side an opportunity to offer you a small settlement in return for the interview. You should never speak to the other side for any reason. They know their client is at fault and they are trying to get you to accept an inadequate settlement.
Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer
You might be surprised at how the level of cooperation changes when you have legal representation. When you "lawyer up," you send a message to the insurance carrier that you are serious about seeking the compensation you deserve. If you are experiencing issues with unpaid medical bills, unanswered and unreturned phone calls, and other common customer service problems, having a lawyer will get them to sit up and pay attention to your claims.
Demand a Settlement
Often, the best way to get something is to simply ask for it. Unless you let the other know, they won't realize that you are not happy with what the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver wants to pay. Once you've spoken with a personal injury lawyer, a demand letter or letter of demand will be sent to the other driver's insurance carrier. This letter is chock-full of information:
- A summary of how the accident happened and why the other party is at fault.
- A list of evidence you have managed to gather such as the police report, your medical records, and more.
- How much you are willing to accept in a settlement. This is the "demand" and the amount should be slightly higher than you deserve — that leaves room for negotiations.
For more information, speak to a personal injury lawyer.