Once you settle your case, you cannot ask for more money for your car accident. However, you can negotiate with the insurance adjuster before signing an agreement for a payout. Ensuring you receive fair compensation the first time is vital. This requires knowing how much your damages are worth and negotiating for an appropriate payout.
One way to fight for fair compensation is by hiring a car accident lawyer to handle your case. Attorneys know how to build a strong case, navigate the claims process, and calculate a fair settlement range for clients based on case facts. This allows victims to focus on their physical recovery while the attorney handles the case.
How do You Know How Much Your Car Accident Case Is Worth?
Before negotiating a fair settlement, you must understand how much your car accident cost you. This means taking both your economic and non-economic costs into consideration. Without this information, there is no way to know when you reach a just agreement with the insurance carrier.
The value of your case depends greatly on the expenses and losses you incurred because of the accident. Identifying and documenting these costs is a key step in seeking fair compensation in your case. Some commonly recoverable damages in car accident cases include:
- Medical treatment and related expenses
- Future medical care costs
- Current and future lost income from the time you missed at work
- Diminished earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job
- Property damages, including the cost of car repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
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An Attorney Can Help You Determine If a Settlement Is Fair
Discussing your case with a lawyer before you agree to a settlement could be beneficial. They can assess your case and determine if damages are left uncovered in a settlement offer. Your lawyer may be able to help you secure additional compensation if so.
Often, victims may overlook certain costs when building a case on their own. For example, you may not realize you could recover money for your intangible losses, such as pain and suffering. An attorney can help you ensure all your losses are accounted for and the settlement you accept is a fair offer.
Other benefits of hiring an attorney include:
- They can make the process of seeking compensation less stressful. You’ll be able to focus on recovering while they manage your case.
- Most attorneys take car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis. While you wait for your case to be settled, you won’t owe your lawyer anything out-of-pocket.
- They will handle communications with the insurance company for you. This means they can look out for bad-faith insurance tactics and help you avoid accepting a settlement offer that is too low.
- Your lawyer will have experience handling car accident cases. They’ll know what damages you can recover once they learn the details of your case, giving them a good idea of how much compensation you should recover.
- They can determine who is liable for the accident and explain your legal options. Your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit at the same time as your insurance claim to give you a solid chance at recovering fair compensation.
When Is a Lawsuit Necessary to Recover Fair Compensation?
Under some circumstances, the only way to get the insurer to increase their initial offer might be to sue the policyholder based on the car accident. A lawsuit shows the insurer you are serious about securing the compensation you need to cover your bills, losses, and other costs.
There are numerous reasons why a lawsuit might be a good choice for seeking compensation in your car accident case. If an attorney recommends that you sue, they will provide more information about why this is the best option in your case.
Some reasons why car accident lawyers recommend filing a lawsuit could include:
- The insurer is refusing to provide a large enough payout
- The insurance carrier denied the claim
- There are disputed questions about case facts
What Are Your Rights as a Car Accident Victim?
The options a motorist has after suffering injuries in a collision depend on state law and the facts of the case. Generally, victims in states with fault-based car accident laws have a right to pursue and recover fair compensation for their collision. This includes holding the at-fault driver responsible for their carelessness or recklessness and demanding money for the expenses and losses incurred.
While most cases revolve around an insurance claim and negotiated settlement, victims have the right to sue the negligent party and take the case to trial. This allows them to hold the at-fault driver legally responsible in court, presenting strong evidence to the judge and jury to show they caused the accident and injuries.
Working with a car accident lawyer will ensure your rights remain protected. They manage all communication with the insurer and other involved parties, meet all applicable deadlines in your case, and fight for the payout you need based on your case facts.
Speak With Our Car Accident Attorney About Your Options After an Accident
Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for more money for your car accident. This is just one reason why it may benefit you to consider hiring a car accident lawyer to handle your case.
The Morris Bart law firm provides free initial consultations for collision victims hurt in one of the four states we serve: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Our lawyers are here to assess your options, offer advice, and explain how our team can help. Contact us online or on the phone to get started with your free case review today.
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