The Wrong and Right Way to Settle a Car Accident Claim

If you are driving and another car hits you, that’s probably going to shake you up quite a bit. If it’s just a fender bender, that’s not the end of the world. However, your car wreck might be worse than that.

You may have lasting physical damage, such as a concussion, broken bones, or internal injuries. You’ll need to deal with that, but if what happened was another driver’s fault, then at least you will not have to pay out any money to settle a car accident claim. If you did nothing wrong, then the other driver and their insurance should compensate you for damages that you incurred.

You should also know, though, that there are right and a wrong way to settle a car accident claim. Let’s talk a little more about that now.

Understanding Settlements

You should understand that most car accident claims end in settlements at some point. If you need to know how long it takes to settle car accident claims, several factors could impact that.

For instance, the other driver’s insurance might undertake a lengthy investigation to determine any mitigating factors that may have impacted what happened. The weather might have played a part or a faulty traffic light. Maybe the other driver’s car had some mechanical failure that lessened his culpability.

At some point, the other driver’s insurance will extend a settlement offer to you if they determine that the other driver was responsible. It will be up to you to either take that settlement, thereby ending the other driver and insurance company’s legal responsibility toward you, or else you can refuse it and take them to court.

The Right Way to Settle a Car Accident Claim

Now, we’re getting into the right way to settle one of these car accident claims versus the wrong way. In almost all cases, the right thing to do when you realize you’re in one of these situations is to hire a lawyer.

If you don’t get yourself an attorney that knows all about car wrecks and insurance policies, then you’re going to have to navigate all of this territory yourself. That’s no fun for you, but particularly if you don’t know the law.

Your state will have particular laws regarding what tactics an insurance company can employ to get you to sign that settlement agreement. There are some things they can say to you or questions they can ask that are off-limits. The issue is that if you don’t have a lawyer, you won’t know any of that.

Whenever an insurance company figures out that you have not hired legal representation in these matters, they start licking their chops. They will often use every underhanded tactic in the book to get you to accept less money than you deserve.

The Wrong Way to Settle a Car Accident Claim

The wrong way to settle a claim will be to try to get by with no lawyer. You might take the first settlement offer that the other driver’s insurance company mentions because you are desperate for some cash to defray the cost of your medical care, car repairs, rent, utility bills, and so forth.

The insurance company will almost always try to lowball you because they are for-profit companies. They keep any money that they can avoid paying out, and it goes to their high-ranking executives as bonuses.

They might depose you, which means you will have to show up and answer questions, and if you’re going about things the wrong way, you will be there with no lawyer telling you which questions to answer. You might accidentally say something that makes it sound like you caused the accident, even if you didn’t.

You might be reluctant to hire a lawyer after a car wreck because then you will have to pay them. The solution is to get one that operates using a contingency payment plan. That way, if you do have to take an unscrupulous insurance company to court, you won’t pay your attorney a cent unless they win a settlement for you.

If you don’t bother hiring a lawyer, then making a mistake during this process is quite likely. Even if you’re reasonably intelligent, you simply don’t have the specialized knowledge that’s going to help you in this situation.

If you get in a car crash and you’re going to have to negotiate a settlement, swallow your pride and hire a lawyer to help you.



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