Being involved in a car accident can be an incredibly stressful experience for anyone, so it’s important to be prepared and to know how to handle certain situations, especially situations regarding your insurance company.
It’s not uncommon for people involved in a car accident to receive less than favorable settlement offers, which is why it’s necessary to speak with an experienced car accident attorney to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. The car accident attorneys at Bachus & Schanker are well-versed in guiding clients through reaching settlements with insurance companies.
Should I take the first offer the insurance company offers?
Like most offers, settlement offers with your insurance company are likely negotiable, so it’s important not to take the first offer the insurance company gives you. A seasoned car accident attorney will be able to assist you through this process and inform you whether you are receiving adequate offers or not, making it necessary to retain an attorney in time for the first offer to come in.
What happens if I turn down the first offer?
If you turn down the first offer, you will likely be able to negotiate additional offers until you reach the most favorable one. Be sure to ask your car accident attorney how this process works so you know what to expect throughout this process. Very rarely should a first offer be accepted, so don’t feel pressured into accepting the first offer, regardless of how good it may seem.
What to ask when evaluating the first car accident settlement offer
If you’re unsure whether the first car accident settlement is reasonable for you, be sure to ask some of these important questions while evaluating the offer:
- Was a loved one killed as a result of this car accident?
- How do I want to pay for my losses?
- Will I be able to return to work in the near future?
- Can I return to my previous independent lifestyle, or do I need to hire daily assistance?
- Have I reached maximum medical improvement?
- What is it that the insurance policy says about liability?
These questions can help guide you through the evaluation process and help you to feel less lost while evaluating that first settlement offer.
Beware! Insurance companies are not on your side
Although they may seem to be on your side, be sure to proceed with caution when dealing with your insurance company because it’s unlikely that they are working in your favor. Insurance companies only care about ensuring you receive the proper compensation for your car accident; they are not looking to ensure the outcome is most favorable to you.
Insurance companies employ strategies to undervalue claimants’ losses
It’s important to be aware of the following common bad-faith insurance tactics to ensure your rights are protected.
- Unreasonable delay in processing payment. Even if your insurer agreed to pay your claim, unnecessarily delayed payments may be evidence of bad faith tactics.
- Attempts to settle your claim at a substantially lower amount. Insurance company efforts to “lowball” your settlement and give you far less than the claim is worth. In short, they try to settle quickly for less money.
- Refusing to provide documentation. Insurance companies are expected to comply with documentation requests from policyholders. Refusal to supply documents related to your claim is a red flag.
- Misrepresenting the law or policy coverage. By law, insurers must be honest and truthful in their statements about the law and the policies involved in your claim.
- Your claim is denied without giving a reason. If you made a valid claim after a car accident and it was denied for no reason or an incorrect reason, that may be bad faith.
- Failure to conduct an adequate investigation of the insurance claim. Insurance companies are required to conduct prompt and thorough investigations involving car accidents. Delayed or incomplete investigations leading to a denial may be bad faith.
The experienced attorneys at Bachus & Schanker can help you determine whether your insurance company is, in fact, acting in bad faith, so be sure to contact our legal team if you are concerned about any suspicious behavior on behalf of your insurance company.
Options for seeking compensation for a car accident
There are plenty of options for seeking compensation for a car accident. It’s important to know the difference between these options to determine which choice is the best for you.
Pursuing a no-fault claim
Some states may require no-fault insurance for drivers, and you may rely on this policy before looking into other options. If you decide to go this route to seek compensation for your car accident, you will have no-fault coverage that will pay the insured party’s bills, regardless of who is at fault for the incident. No-fault coverage usually only compensates the parties of a car accident for basic damages and losses only. Your car accident attorney can discuss the specific criteria required to pursue a no-fault claim and determine whether it is the best option for you.
Filing a third-party insurance claim
Filing a third-party insurance claim is one of the most common ways to seek compensation after a car accident. It is common for Colorado, as well as some other states, to allow car accident victims to file their claims based on the negligent driver’s auto policy.
The steps for filing a third-party insurance claim are as follows:
- Gather evidence and documents related to your damages
- Seek maximum compensation from the insurer
- Work on negotiating to reach a reasonable settlement amount
- Once a settlement has been reached, complete the proper documentation in order to receive your settlement payout
An experienced car accident attorney, such as the ones at Bachus & Schanker, will be able to handle these steps for you, allowing you to focus on recovering from your accident or caring for any other loved ones that may also be injured.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit
In certain situations, pressing charges and filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver is the most efficient way to seek justice and compensation for your damages. Personal injury lawsuits can sound intimidating, and it’s important to realize many cases settle before even going to trial, which is arguably one of the most stressful parts of any lawsuit. Speak with your attorney at Bachus & Schanker to determine whether filing a lawsuit is right for you and your claim.
Know your damages’ cost before accepting a settlement offer
Since you’re receiving compensation for your damages, it’s essential to know the cost of your damages to ensure you receive adequate compensation. Depending on your specific damages, you can determine the costs of your damages in a number of ways. Some documents that may be beneficial in determining the costs of your damages include medical bills, receipts from the mechanic regarding auto repairs, lost wage documentation, and any other receipts or documents that may reflect any expenses you have incurred due to the accident.
An injury lawyer can determine your damages cost
An experienced injury lawyer can help you determine your damages cost through their own systems. The personal injury attorneys at Bachus & Schanker have successful methods to assess your damages costs, allowing you to ensure you fight for the proper settlement compensation for your damages.
What is a good settlement offer?
While this may vary from case to case, a good settlement offer covers the costs of the damages and any other financial compensation the victim of the car accident may be entitled to. Good settlement offers typically include economic and non-economic damages, ensuring that the victim is financially covered.
When should I accept an insurance company’s offer?
You should accept the insurance company’s offer when you believe it has adequately met your needs and expectations, do not settle for anything less. If you feel the offer is fair and can compensate you for your damages, then you should discuss with your personal injury attorney whether they believe you can negotiate a higher deal or accept the settlement as is.
How a car accident attorney can help me
A car accident attorney can help you in more ways than you may realize. A car accident attorney takes action to hold the negligent party legally and financially responsible for the damages and losses the victim has incurred from the incident.
Gather witness testimony
Our experienced car accident attorneys understand the importance of proper witness testimony for your case. That’s why we prioritize gathering witness testimony and ensure that no stone is left unturned regarding who we may speak with as a witness for your incident. Witnesses can provide invaluable information, and some may have better recollections of the incident than the victims, as they were likely less stressed than the victim was at the time of the accident.
Who better to handle negotiations for you than an experienced car accident attorney? Our attorneys are well-versed in the art of negotiations, whether with insurance companies or opposing counsel. We are confident we will reach the deal you deserve.
Advise your decisions from a place of experience
Given our extensive expertise in handling car accident places, our attorneys are a great resource to help advise you on your decisions throughout your lawsuit. Our attorneys know when to recognize good deals or red flags, and we’ll be able to guide you through this difficult process step by step.
Let us do the work
The attorneys at Bachus & Schanker serve as your advocate and representative throughout the legal process. Our attorneys do everything from analyzing your case to presenting your options and then fighting on your behalf. We also handle the intimidating stuff, including speaking to the court on your behalf and making sure the correct documents have been filed with the court.
The legal team at Bachus & Schanker is proud to consist of attorneys with specialized training and experience to help you achieve the best results and maximum compensation, all while maintaining a positive experience with the legal system.
You may need to sue a driver after your car crash to get compensation
As mentioned above, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be your best option in certain situations. Fortunately, most personal injury claims do not make it to court, allowing you to take care of the remainder of the legal process outside the courtroom. Be sure to speak with your car accident attorney to determine whether suing a driver after your car crash is your best option to pursue compensation.
Bachus & Schanker is Colorado’s premier car accident attorneys
Whether you’re seeking approval from your health insurance provider for medical treatment, seeking compensation after a car accident, or trying to get homeowners insurance to cover property damage, you have the right to obtain the coverage your insurer has already guaranteed you. Having to deal with insurance companies is already stressful enough, so it’s even worse to deal with low settlement offers and denied claims in addition to dealing with unexpected expenses and damages.
The legal team at Bachus & Schanker has years of expertise and invaluable knowledge we can use to guide you while fighting bad-faith insurers. To make Bachus & Schanker even better, you don’t have to worry about your legal fees until you receive your maximum compensation.
Barrett, S. Types of Personal Injury Damages and Compensation.