May 2, 2022
Auto Accident

If you were recently involved in a car crash, you may be entering claim negotiations with an insurance company. These negotiations can be challenging, and if you are unsure of what you’re doing, you may settle for less financial compensation than you deserve.

It’s important to know that you know your rights in these negotiations. Many insurance companies attempt to lowball unsuspecting car crash victims with settlements worth less than they are entitled to. Insurance companies know that injured victims may need money to pay for outstanding medical expenses, lost wages, or rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Claims adjusters use this knowledge to their advantage, offering a less than fair payout to the injured party. Adjusters do this to determine whether you know how to negotiate, are aware of the value of your car, or only know to cover your current medical bills.

Accepting the first offer also prevents you from filing another claim in the future. If the settlement offer doesn’t consider all your accident-related expenses, you cannot ask for more compensation later.

For these reasons, you should avoid accepting the initial offer from an insurance company, even if it seems reasonable. Negotiating with the help of The Vance Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Deciding whether you should accept an insurance company’s offer depends on several factors.

Determine Your Vehicle’s Value

If your claim includes property damages inflicted on your car, van, or motorcycle, then the first thing you need to consider is your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). Most insurance companies use the ACV as default reimbursement rather than the replacement value unless you have new car replacement coverage add-on.

The ACV depends on several factors, including:

  • The year, make, and model of the vehicle
  • Any modifications that have been made to it
  • How many miles the vehicle has been driven
  • Its physical condition

A qualified mechanic can conduct a value estimation of your vehicle. There are also online tools that can estimate your vehicle’s value. If your vehicle was damaged in the collision, its value helps determine your financial compensation.

Decide on the Minimum Amount

Once the value of your vehicle is determined, you can select the minimum amount you’re willing to accept as compensation for your property damages. You shouldn’t reveal this number to the claims adjuster because this may affect the amount they offer. This number serves as the bottom line if negotiations become difficult.

Consider Future Damages

Aside from personal property damages, you may be injured following the accident. Many insurance companies don’t factor in future expenses you may incur due to the accident. Factors like medical bills, loss of earnings, and rehabilitation are all costs you can be compensated for.

Including your predicted future expenses in the negotiations helps determine a more accurate settlement for your injuries. You should include future expenses in the minimum amount you will accept as a settlement.

Decide if the Initial Offer is Too Low

Once you know your minimum settlement amount, you can decide whether the initial offer from the insurance company is sufficient. If the settlement offer matches the minimum amount you are willing to accept, you may consider taking it. However, if the offer isn’t acceptable, you may wish to continue negotiating.

Consult With a Lawyer

Negotiating with an insurance company is time-consuming, complicated, and stressful. Personal injury lawyers are experienced in negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. Having a qualified lawyer handle your claim increases your chances of getting the full amount you are owed. They can also help your case by defending you against liability.

Determining who is at fault in a collision in Alabama is essential in every case because of pure contributory negligence. This law disqualifies you from compensation if your actions, no matter how small, contributed to the crash in any way. Ensuring you are not liable is critical if you hope to receive compensation.

Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation

Hiring a Montgomery car accident lawyer from The Vance Law Firm can help you maximize the amount of compensation you are entitled to. We will carefully calculate your damages to ensure your expenses are met now and in the future.

Our skilled car accident lawyers have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and claims adjusters, so you receive a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your claim.

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