What if getting hit by a car helped you win the lottery?
No, we're not talking about a really dangerous scratch-off ticket. Instead, we are talking about car accident lawsuits.
Sometimes, winning a car accident lawsuit helps someone get a huge payday. Other times, they get nothing more than a wrecked car and a pile of legal debt.
So, interested in learning how to win a car accident lawsuit? Keep reading to discover our top tips!
1. Talk With the Insurance Company
We'd like to rip this band-aid off right away: you're going to have to talk with the insurance company. And you're going to be doing this quite a bit.
Because of that, you'll want to make sure you understand as much about car accidents and legal settlements as possible. Basically, you want to be able to talk to the insurance people in their own language.
Your research should also cover things like average settlement amounts. If you have a feeling they are trying to lowball you, then make sure you have the research that proves it.
2. Determine a Settlement Amount
Typically, the best outcome of a car accident lawsuit is not a prolonged legal battle. Instead, it is getting the settlement you are after.
But that brings up a good question: do you actually know what settlement amount you want?
You'll want to figure out a couple of key amounts. One is the amount of money you are hoping to get. The other is the amount that you'd be willing to settle for (hence the term "settlement").
Keep this information to yourself and let it guide your negotiations. This keeps you from getting overly excited or scared by adjuster offers.
Remember to be honest about this amount and not afraid to change it. As new evidence comes to light, you may want to adjust these amounts either up or down.
3. Hold Onto Evidence
When you survive a car accident, life can feel like a blur. However, it's important to get as much evidence as you can and preserve that evidence as best you can.
Remember, your case won't be determined by someone else who was there. Rather, it is determined by a judge and jury who can do little more than listen to testimony and review evidence.
Photos of things like the accident and your injuries make for great evidence, as does the proof of your medical expenses. If possible, also try to get contact info for potential witnesses that you may call for the case.
4. Getting Emotional
Normally, getting emotional is the last thing you'd want to do during negotiations. But here is an exception: when you need to tell the insurance adjuster about emotional damages and emotional evidence.
"Emotional damage" is difficult to quantify. However, a sympathetic jury may be willing to award you extra for any pain and suffering you experienced. If you have evidence of this, then make sure the adjuster knows.
Make sure they are also aware of how the accident affected your ability to work, to care for family, and so on. Consider this a dry run for the kinds of things that you'll eventually share with a jury (such as your crippling insomnia).
The idea is to convince them that you have a solid and compelling case. That will leave the adjuster little room to do anything except settle.
5. Solid Medical Treatment
Want to hear a rookie mistake when it comes to car accident lawsuits? Here it is: listening to the insurance adjuster for medical recommendations.
Insurance companies recommend certain doctors for one reason and one reason only: because those doctors will make decisions that best benefit the insurance company.
Obviously, you want what is best for you. And that means seeking out the medical professionals of your choice.
Be sure to get as much treatment as the doctors recommend, both in terms of physical and psychological therapy. All of this will help you make more convincing claims about damages when your case goes to trial.
6. Justified Offers
Negotiation with the insurance adjuster is going to go much as you've imagined. They will throw out a settlement number, you'll throw out a counteroffer, and so on.
Here's a detail that many people overlook. Anytime the adjuster tries to lower the amount you are asking for, you should require them to justify why and to do so in writing.
Afterwards, you should respond to each of those claims in writing. Present any evidence and argumentation that helps to refute what they are saying.
Now, you should still be reasonable. If they have a good point that you can't rebut, then you should be willing to lower the amount. But make them fight for every single penny that the amount goes down!
7. Avoid Social Media
For better or for worse, we live in a period of intense social media fixation. When something good or bad happens, it's many people's first instinct to immediately talk about it online.
When it comes to your lawsuit, though, you should say nothing. In fact, you should get off social media for the duration of your lawsuit.
All it takes is one picture of you at a party to destroy your claim about physical damage from the accident. So be sure to play it safe and not give the other side ammo to use against you.
8. Get a Lawyer
So far, we've focused on what you can do on your own. But you need to know when enough is enough.
Eventually, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer. While some people worry about the expense, keep in mind that these trained professionals represent your best chance at getting the largest possible settlement.
The more they worry about the legal paperwork, the more you can concentrate on winning your case.
Winning a Car Accident Lawsuit: The Bottom Line
Now you know more about winning a car accident lawsuit. But do you know where you can get even more hot info?
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