Who makes you pay for lies? Insurance companies.
You’re on your way to work when suddenly a pickup truck smashes directly into you. You wake up from a coma, 9 days later, and discover you’ll need constant care for months. As the medical bills keep adding up you wonder, “How much money do you get from a car accident settlement?”.
Sadly, if you’re 60-year-old Ethel Adams from Seattle, the answer is not a single penny. Back in 2004, Ethel Adams was in exactly the crash we just described, but, the insurance company wouldn’t qualify the crash as an accident. Instead, the insurance investigator said the pickup hit Ethel out of road rage, and as a result, they were able to deny her claim completely.
Don’t let Ethel’s nightmare become your reality. Read on to learn everything you need to know about car accident settlements.
How Much Money Do You Get From a Car Accident Settlement?
If you’re wondering, “How much money do you get from a car accident settlement?”, you should start by understanding how the settlement process works. Even if the other driver is completely at fault, it’s still up to you to follow through on each step of the settlement process. Here are the different stages of settlement you’ll need to complete:
- File police report
- Seek immediate medical help (ambulance)
- Filing claim
- Insurance investigation
- Approval or denial of a claim
- Settlement offer
Whenever you’re in a car accident, it’s always a good idea to call the police to the scene. The report the police file will go a long way in determining whose at fault.
Next, you should always take an ambulance ride from the scene of the crash if you’re hurt, or suspect you might be. Seeking immediate medical attention will help lawyers prove that any injuries were the result of the other driver’s poor driving choices. Finally, you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance company and go through the investigation process, before you receive a settlement offer.
Claim Coverage Approval and Denials
Evidence, such as police reports, are gold mines when it comes to increasing your chances of receiving a fair payout. The insurance investigator will look at a variety of things when reviewing your claim. Things like the police report, any photos you took of the accident, photos of your injuries, and property damage, will all go into account.
If the insurance company decides to approve your claim, it’s a way of saying they agree with you. They’re saying that they agree the at-fault’s driver’s conduct falls under the policy coverage.
However, just because an insurance company agrees the policy applies, that doesn’t mean they’re preparing to offer you a fair payout. Insurance companies will always look for ways to give you the least amount of money possible after approving your claim.
Other times, insurance companies will flat out deny your claim, even if the police report shows the other driver to be at fault. When an insurance company offers you a low payout or denies your claim, it’s time to find an injury compensation lawyer to fight for you.
Let’s say you receive approval for your insurance claim. The first thing that will happen next is you’ll receive a settlement offer in the mail, and through email. It’s typical for insurance companies to make the initial offer very low, but don’t worry, you won’t have to accept the first offer you receive.
It’s your right to deny as many offers as you want, and request a higher payout, based on the type of injuries you’ve sustained, as well as expenses. While it’s your right to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company, that doesn’t mean they’ll make it easy on you.
Insurance corporations make it their goal to be difficult and intimidating when clients refuse settlement offers. They’re hoping that you’ll become discouraged, and accept the initial low offer from the start.
You’ll have to talk to insurance adjusters and attorneys, who are very comfortable navigating both the insurance jargon and personal injury law guidelines. To survive to negotiate with insurance companies, you have to always remind yourself that they’re not trying to help you.
The insurer’s employees main goal is to save their company money, not pay larger amounts to you. Keep thorough records every time you speak to the company, document emails they send, and when necessary, get the help of seasoned lawyers.
Making It Through Mediation
While not everyone has to go through mediation, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself in case you do. When you have trouble getting an insurance company to offer a fair settlement, you or the insurer can request mediation.
During mediation, the insurer’s representatives will meet with you and an objective third party. The third-party will play the role of mediator, in an attempt to help both sides agree.
If you have a personal injury lawyer, make sure you bring them with you to any mediation meetings, since the insurance company will be sure to bring their lawyers with them.
During the mediation meeting, you’ll talk about your claim, injuries, and damages. If things get off topic, the mediator will redirect the conversation to stay on track.
Keep in mind that mediators can’t force insurance companies to pay a reasonable sum for your injuries. However, on the bright side, mediators also can’t force you to accept an unfair settlement amount.
Know Your Rights
How much money do you get from a car accident settlement? The amount directly depends on you, and your knowledge of your rights. By understanding how insurance companies operate and knowing when to reach out for legal help, you increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
It’s our goal to help readers get the answers they need, to get back on their feet, as quickly as possible. Check out the rest of this site, and learn more ways to give yourself a winning edge.