Settling with an insurance company after being involved in an accident is something people may struggle to understand. Insurance companies are well aware of the complexities embedded in their policies and, most of the time, take advantage of this and use it against you. This can mean using every tactic available to provide as little compensation as they can. However, there are ways you can get the compensation you deserve by taking your case to court.
Our skilled, dedicated, and experienced personal injury attorneys at Bamieh and De Smeth PLC can help guide you through your best options. Keep reading from our Ventura personal injury lawyers about how to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for your accident injuries and if settling is the best option.
Negotiating a Settlement with an Insurance Company After an Accident
Dealing with an insurance company after an accident, such as a car crash, is standard practice. Injured victims often go against the at-fault party’s insurance company to get compensation for their losses. During this time, you and the other party’s insurance company will enter into a negotiation process to settle your claim. These types of settlements are also common. Most insurance companies offer a settlement to the victims because they want to keep the situation out of court. There may be situations where an insurance company can provide you with a settlement that may seem too low compared to what you would otherwise obtain through a formal claim with the court. A Ventura car accident lawyer may be able to hellp in this situation.
Before you accept any off-court offer from the other party’s insurance company, you should understand how the negotiation process works. As part of your insurance claim, you will need to have a series of important documents with you. For instance, having a complete demand letter in your file can help you maintain control of your case and understand the scope of what your claim is. A demand letter is a document that contains relevant and critical information such as descriptions of your injuries, a list of medical treatment received, and a description of your losses, among other critical data. All the compiled information can be useful down the road when negotiating your settlement.
It is absolutely essential to have an idea of how much compensation you are looking for. In other words, you should come up with a number reflecting what your case may be worth. Having this cipher in mind can be useful when sitting down with your claim adjuster. Typically, insurers will use a formula combining your losses (medical expenses) and multiplying it by a number ranging from 1.5 to 10, depending on the extent of your injuries and the severity of their outcome. Once they have the resulting number, the insurance company will then proceed to add up any lost income you suffered as a result of your accident. The total calculated amount is typically what they may provide as your settlement. However, the proposed amount of money may not be enough to cover all of your losses.
It is essential to learn the best way to negotiate with the insurance company. Never accept the first offer they give you. It is highly likely they will make a low-ball offer that may look like much, but really isn’t. Remember the number you should think about when analyzing how much your claim may be worth? This is the moment where you should stand your ground and use that number as a baseline to negotiate your claim. Most of the time, insurance companies will resist your proposed numbers, which in turn may give you the choice of taking your case to court.
Should I Take my Insurance Case to Court?
If the other party’s insurance company insists on giving you a low compensation for your claim, you may want to take your case to court. This may be especially helpful for victims of catastrophic accidents and injuries. In extreme cases you may even need a Ventura wrongful death lawyer. Taking your case to court can give you a better chance of obtaining a better, fairer compensation. You may be able to reach the compensation you deserve by filing a personal injury claim with the court. Taking this route may prove to be advantageous in the long run. One of the advantages of taking your case to court is that a jury of your peers will determine your compensation. After considering all the evidence, the jury will deliberate and decide the compensation you should obtain.
However, reaching a favorable verdict requires proving your case with the court. To prove your case, you need to show that the other party was negligent. To prove the other party’s negligence, you will need to show four essential elements to the court. First, you will need to show that the other party owed you a duty of care. For instance, you will need to show that the other party owed you a duty to drive their car in a safe manner. Second, you will need to show that the other party breached their duty of care by driving their car in an unsafe manner. Third, you will need to demonstrate that the other party’s negligence caused your losses. This is known as causation. Finally, you will need to demonstrate that you actually suffered losses as a consequence of your accident, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you successfully prove your case, the court may grant you compensation. The court may grant you additional compensation depending on the actions employed by the third party. This type of compensation is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are granted in situations where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly outrageous. These damages are granted as a way to prevent others from engaging in the same type of conduct in the future.
Personal Injury Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
If you or someone you know is having problems with an insurance company, we may be able to help. At the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth, PLC, we know all the tactics insurance companies may employ to deny coverage or provide you with the lowest possible compensation. Thanks to our many years of experience handling personal injury claims in Ventura and Santa Barbara, we are able to provide you with the legal representation you deserve. We fight aggressively and strategically to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our law offices today for a free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (805) 643-5555.