Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. These collisions are often the result of negligent driving conduct. If another driver caused your accident and injuries, you would naturally want to maximize your settlement. As an accident victim, you can take specific steps and avoid certain actions for a better chance of recovering a fair level of compensation.
What Evidence Can You Record to Get a Higher Settlement?
A good attorney will be able to launch an in-depth investigation into your case and find key pieces of evidence. That being said, there is information you can record after your accident that will help your attorney do their job. Various types of evidence are needed to support a successful claim. Some of the things you can hold on to for your claim include:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Medical reports
- Physical evidence, such as pieces of the damaged automobile
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Photos of your car and the at-fault driver’s car
- Pictures showing your injuries
- Evidence that your injuries have worsened
- A daily log of your pain and suffering, including your symptoms and their duration
- Medical bills to document your costs for treatment
- Documents showing your income loss from time away from work
- Proof of expenses such as auto repairs, rental car costs, taxi service to and from the doctor, housekeeping, and in-home nursing
- All bills and receipts related to your accident
A good rule of thumb is to keep all documents involved with your claim. Never throw away a bill, receipt, pay stub, or price quote. Anything that indicates the damages you have suffered should be safely stored away and then given to your attorney.
What Steps Can Help You Get a Higher Settlement?
Beyond holding on to all possible documentation, there are other key steps you can take to ensure that you receive as much in compensation as possible. In our experience, clients who take an active role in their claim are likely to receive more. Some steps we recommend you follow are:
Calculating a settlement: Have a settlement amount in mind before you begin negotiations. Do not reveal this number to the insurance adjuster. You should also not jump at the first offer you receive. It is likely lower than the insurance company is willing to go.
Advocating for yourself: Emphasize emotional points in your favor, such as how painful the injury was and the long-term effects of the accident. Refer to pictures of severe injuries or your vehicle that was wrecked in the crash. Reveal how the accident and injuries have affected your life.
Protecting your settlement: When negotiations are over, make sure the agreed-upon settlement is in writing.
What Should You Avoid While Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement?
That being said, there are also things you should avoid doing in the case of filing a personal injury claim. Insurance companies are quick to find anything they can use to tear you down and pay you as little as possible. In order to protect yourself and your compensation, you should:
Keep important info to yourself: During your car accident settlement negotiations, do not release your medical records to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Only your insurance company is entitled to your medical records. The other side could use that information against you.
Never admit fault: Do not let an adjuster pressure you into settling your claim. Adjusters are skilled in various tactics for convincing you to accept less than your claim is worth. Do not admit fault for the accident, give a recorded statement, or sign anything from the adjuster. You should also never speak to an insurance adjuster alone. If one calls, inform them that they can speak with your attorney, and end the conversation there.
Follow your doctor’s orders: Continue with your treatment until your doctor releases you. If you stop going to the doctor when you feel better, it can affect your case and the amount of your settlement.
Who Should You Speak with Concerning Your Claim?
Instead of talking to insurance adjusters, consult with an experienced lawyer about your claim. Our Boulder personal injury attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, can investigate your accident to determine fault and liability and collect and preserve evidence to support your claim. We have the knowledge and resources to assess the full extent of your losses and the full value of your claim.
We can negotiate skillfully with the insurance company on your behalf, so you won’t have to speak with an adjuster and risk damaging your case. When you have legal representation in a car accident case, insurance companies know they need to go through your lawyer to negotiate a settlement. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Call us at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free consultation regarding your car accident settlement.