Car accidents are a normal occurrence these days. However, you would not want the hassle of being on either end of an accident. Dealing with the result of a car accident can be difficult, especially for people who were injured. It is important that you understand the basic laws on settling a car accident claim.
- File the claim as soon as possible.
Do not wait for weeks or months after the accident to initiate a claim. Get in touch with your insurance company at the soonest possible time so that you can give as many accurate details about the accident.
- Be prepared.
Even if you are not the one who caused the accident, you will not be dealing with the other driver directly. In your attempt to settle a car accident claim, you will face or deal directly with the other driver’s insurance company. It is important that you do your homework before facing the representative of the insurance company.
Gather the name and contact information of the other driver, his or her insurance company, any witnesses, and the law enforcement officers who came to the scene of the accident. If you have photos of the accident scene, they will also be beneficial especially if you are the aggrieved party.
In pursuing your claim, the insurance company will require or ask for tons of information, so it is a good idea to come prepared. It is also important to note that the insurance company is not on your side. Equip yourself with information that is beneficial to your claim.
- Estimate damages.
There are two types of damages involved in any personal injury case like a car accident: the special damages and damages not capable of exact calculation.
Special damages or damages capable of exact calculation are property damage, lost earnings, and other financial losses caused by the accident. Damages not capable of exact calculation include mental anguish, suffering, and pain which come from your injuries. Determining the settlement value for these damages has no guidelines, which is why they cannot be pinpointed exactly.
- Send a demand letter.
Sending a demand letter only comes after you have calculated all the damages, or when an investigation into the accident has been made. If you have already made a thorough valuation of your personal injury, you can state exactly why the other party or the insurance company is liable for your injuries.
- Deal with counter offers and decide on a fair settlement.
We all know that most insurance adjusters will low-ball the offers. This is the time when you can negotiate. It is best to demand a high settlement so you always have room to negotiate. If they provided a counter offer that looks fine with you, then take the money. If you are not satisfied with the offer, filing a complaint in court is your best course of action.
- Go to court.
Finally, if you decide to file a complaint in court, you need to hire an attorney who specializes in car accident claims. A lawsuit is the biggest threat you can throw against an insurance company. Contact a credible attorney to help you go through your car accident claim.
At DeZao Law, our expert lawyers will fight for you. If you have been in a car accident, you cannot afford to wait. Contact us, your New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer.