Car accident settlements are a complex process. Negotiating your claim – whether with an insurance company or third party – can be stressful and a long, drawn-out process. It is important to listen to the advice your attorney is giving you and always have your attorney present for negotiations. An attorney can ensure you not only receive a fair settlement, but also that the other party holds to any terms and conditions of that settlement that you have discussed.
Who You Negotiate With
While the other driver may be at fault for the accident, that driver is not the person you are dealing with directly when it comes to negotiating a settlement. Instead your attorney will be dealing with the insurance claim adjuster or the driver’s attorney. Because of this, it is important to gather the necessary information while you are at the scene of the accident – including contact information for witnesses, the driver and any law enforcement present.
If you can, you should take photographs at the accident scene to help further prove your case. Some photographs that can help include ones showing the locations of the vehicles, damage on each vehicle and the license plates of the vehicles involved.
Damages and Your Settlement
Your attorney will assess your case and help determine which damages you are entitled to. These damages can vary depending on the extent of your injuries and how that injury impacted your day-to-day life. Some damages you may negotiate in your settlement include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses – such as taxi fees or rental car fees
- Ambulance and emergency room costs
Settlement discussions continue throughout the duration of a lawsuit and most personal injury claims will settle without going to trial. The discovery phase of a case will help each side determine how strong the case is and what settlement is adequate based on the evidence presented. If both sides cannot agree to a settlement, then the case will go to trial where a judge or jury will determine the right amount of compensation.
Getting a Fair Settlement Requires Legal Representation – Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident and you were severely injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law can help. Get started by calling toll-free at 877-678-3400 or by contacting us online.